Artist Spotlight: Tim Gralewski
In the fine line between graphic design and fine art, you will find Tim Gralewski. When Tim realized he enjoys treading on that line, he began to grow as an artist. His work retains the impact of graphic design, yet loses the slickness of graphic design to allow an organic growth of layered imagery.
This layered imagery is what I find intriguing about Tim’s work. It forces the viewer to process various colors and shapes in a manner that would seem to cause an information overload, yet he balances this deluge of information with subtle areas of stillness where the viewer can rest and take in the scenery. This was Robert Rauschenberg’s talent, who Tim recognizes as an influence. Find out more about Tim’s influence and artistic practice by reading below.
thedetroiter.com: When did you start creating art?
Tim: I became familiar with screen-printing in high school but really fell in love with it
in college. I’ve been showing and selling my work for about 10 years.
thedetroiter.com: What style do you consider your work?
Tim: I worked as a graphic artist for many years before getting serious about fine
art. At the beginning, I always kept what I did in graphic design separate from
my fine art. I struggled with this until I decided to go back to school and get an
MFA. During this time, I allowed myself to approach a fine art piece the same
way I would a piece of commercial art. My style is the grey area between art
and design. I’m just as influenced by a poster of a constructivist design as I am
by a Robert Rauschenberg piece.
thedetroiter.com: Does beauty play a role in your work?
Tim: To a certain extent. I pay close attention to design in my work and do consider
the aesthetic of the final image. It’s interesting when working with different
subject matters, to see how each images defines its own sense of beauty.
There can be beauty in clutter but also in a sparse image. A dilapidated
building can be as interesting as a beautiful landscape. So I suppose I’m not as
interested in the beauty of the image but how it fascinates us.
thedetroiter.com: How have you developed as an artist over the last five
Tim: I think I’ve developed a lot over the past five years. Since I’ve been mixing
graphic design and art together, I feel my work has come a very long way in
the last few years. I get excited with each new piece I make so that tells me I’m
going in the right direction with my art. I allow myself to be free and experiment
with different styles and images. It keeps me excited in what I’m doing but also
keeps me to learning about my work and myself.
thedetroiter.com: What is your process?
Tim: I’m primarily a screen-printer. I do all my designing on the computer but hand-
print everything with my screen and squeegee.
thedetroiter.com: What is the most difficult part about your process?
Tim: Screen-printing can be frustrating. The ink bleeds, you miss register a color or
part of the image doesn’t come through. But sometimes those turn into happy
accidents that you end up liking more than what you were originally going to
do. Something I can’t plan when designing in on the computer. I like when that
thedetroiter.com: What inspires you?
Tim:I find a lot of inspiration from Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. Their
work can always inspire and push me to do more with my work. I never tire
looking at their art. I love Constructivism, Bauhaus and Modernist graphic
design. Those were great graphic design movements with lots of interesting
thedetroiter.com: Who are your favorite Detroit area artists?
Tim: I love Glenn Barr, Niagara, Carl Oxley III, Ben Bigelow, Mark Arminski, Silent
Giants, and Perfect Laughter. Detroit has a lot of great artist but it also has
some of the greatest screen-printers in the country.
thedetroiter.com: What’s next?
Tim: I have a busy schedule in Detroit for November and December. I will be in
holiday shows at the Detroit Artists Market and Art Effect Gallery near Eastern
Market. I will also be in an exhibition of typography at Whitdel Arts from
November 11th to December 9th. You can always find my work at 323 East
Gallery in Royal Oak.
Find out more about Tim on his website: www.timgralewski.com