Updated: Apr 10, 2019
Ten years ago, self proclaimed re_emerging artist David Grudniski, pulled out a banjo he was given as a 13 years old boy, which he never really learned to play, and began practicing.
"I learned a bunch of traditional tunes, then focused on the Country Blues genre, and started playing on the street and living room jam sessions, anywhere I could while writing Tin Pan Alley styled ditties."
During this time he continued to draw and paint with no real enthusiasm or direction - music was foremost in his life and mind. One day after an interaction with a busker, in downtown Calgary, a light went on and he began doing drawings and small paintings of street performers.
"It was a revelation to paint what I knew and always loved."
Things really changed in 2017 when Grudniski made a full commitment to paint and draw everyday. Urban Culture references his first series of paintings about street performers and musicians, which evolved into a much broader inclusive collection of paintings about inner city life. Those early pieces were vehicles for what he would later call painted narratives.
Realizing that stories connect us all, inspired him to consciously paint more of those ocular
narratives. "I now paint people from every walk of life and what I paint comes from simple
observations, sometimes embellished, and always elaborated on. While I might refer to my paintings as simple observations, they are much more than that, they are evolving entities of bold colour and dynamic line that reveal a story."
In his series Urban Culture Grudniski created over 60 paintings and 350 drawings during the last 14 months. Urban Culture explores every facet of inner city life, Inclusive with street performers, musicians, workers, business people, nightclubs, street people, events, construction inclusively.
"I think there is a little bit of me in every thing I paint"
"I do it subconsciously and wishfully. I have a pretty big personality, so I am sure my subjects take on some of that. My pieces are a confluence of conceptual and physical studies and some are photograph based. I can like and dislike the same person or thing at the same time, which creates an interesting spin on my work.
Some of the people I paint and draw have characteristics that standout in my mind and once I paint them their story evolves and their features disappear. I think I relate to that quote by Da Vinci “an artist see’s what others only catch a glimpse of”. For the most part I am influenced by events, activities and behaviors that I have experienced or observed.
Grudniski is based in Calgary, Canada. "There are shows, events, galleries and exhibition spaces available in almost every city and town in Canada and all an artist has to do is seek them out.
Places like Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and even Winnipeg have strong reputations for embracing art community which is more accessible than ever, via the internet.
Calgary is my base camp and as long as I’m here I will seek out opportunities, I also intend to show my work everywhere."
Currently Grudniski is working on a new series, "My most recent series uses cursive writing in the form of stories, words, numbers and phrases as supplemental design elements and layers of a given piece. I call them story blocks which may include the story written over and over again on top of each other until the story becomes unreadable and leaves a intricate design. So far the narrative has referenced the paintings but who knows how this will evolve."