Monday, September 27, 2010

I Heart the Hug Machine {Feature: Juan Griego}

Juan Jose Griego Hug Machine Miami Florida Cuban artistMeet Juan Jose Griego. Like some other features I've done, I'd love for you both to meet. Above is his Hug Machine which includes his face displayed in the piece through a built-in television set.

Miami based and Cuban Artist Juan Jose Griego
I think the reason Juan's work resonates and why I'm sharing it – whether it's his mix of performance art, craftsmanship, statements and visual compositions – is at first glance his art is playful, fun, smart and unpretentious. Of course when you look deeper it's communicating an important message through these objects and himself in the pieces. I also find his work original.

A lot of his art, which is created from found objects, scraps and other tactile materials, looks for us to interact with them like the one above which has foot pedals for you to stand on and will hug you when pumped. These objects become new again, no longer used in their original functions.
I think purposefully aware of this, he serves to look at everyday objects deeper redefining their mechanics.

Why do I think this?

Miami Based Cuban Artist Juan Jose GriegoMiami Based Cuban Artist Juan Jose Griego
I was reading an article that featured him and it talks about a performance piece at a museum. In front of a crowd he purposefully started assembling a museum pedestal from scratch. He says "It was about revealing the innards of the museum; what is generally hidden and underexposed, such as the pedestal itself which serves as a minimalist object existing only to support high art objects." At least for me it's about the guts of things and gives me a deeper appreciation for art in general but also all the elements that help display and hold it together, the mechanics involved and all objects along with the final result. They become art themselves, all interacting. Or maybe I'm completely wrong, regardless you can read the rest of this interesting interview here.
Miami Based Cuban Artist Juan Jose GriegoMiami Based Cuban Artist Juan GriegoJuan is based in Miami, Florida. While he sets to deconstruct art, objects and art institutions he also curates shows and works as Chief Preparator at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami.

This is where I tell you that I know him personally so maybe I'm biased, but let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!

You can find his website here, and more insightful features and interviews here, here
and here. As well, if you'd like to contact him you can do so here.
*Good ole legalese: all photography & art credited to Juan Jose Griego. No money &/or incentives were received for this post. (Quiero chocolate).

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