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carlos grasso - peter fox

“actual reality� exhibit - june / august 2019 the museum of ventura county


Carlos Grasso Visionary Artist & Compulsive Visual Explorer Carlos Grasso’s personal journey began in the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his parents encouraged his interest in the arts, particularly music. As a young adult, while studying figure drawing in workshops, he also studied both piano and flute at the National Conservatory of Music before moving to Paris, where he worked as a professional flautist for 15 years. After moving to Southern California, it only took one class with master representational artist, David Leffel for Carlos to discover a new passion: painting. Over the last 25 years, not only has he transitioned from music to making art full-time, he’s also shifted from representational works to abstraction, mixed media and conceptual art. Throughout this period, he has participated in many gallery and group exhibitions, and received a number of awards for his work. In his own words: “What might seem as nothing but a torn piece of canvas or a rusty sheet of metal to be discarded, I visualize as the perfect ingredient for my next piece of work. What might be viewed as worthless scraps of wood or slit fabric I envision as works of art. They speak to me just as much as my paints and brushes, sometimes asking and sometimes flat-out demanding to be included in my art. They are the blood and bones of my current creations. Artists—in all branches and disciplines—are the preeminent voice of both the collective and the individual unconscious. Art brings to the surface, to our awareness, all the processes that run deep, embedded, and often silently ignored within. As the ancient philosopher once said, the unexamined life is not worth living.” www.carlosgrasso.com / carlosgrassostudio@gmail.com (cover photo: Flame detail)


Carlos Grasso’s Colorspace Room An immersive piece of art which aims to experience artwork from the inside. Saturating our senses with changing color forms, it intends to create, in the viewer, a sense of awe, creativity and joyful playfulness. Dancing colors moving towards a white all encompassing “portal”, the experiencer is invited to stop thinking and just experience a changing state of perception in the now.


“Canvas Deconstruction #7 - Landscape”

“Canvas Deconstruction #7 - detail” “Kali’s Tongue”

“Chest”


“Three Flames”


“Dancing Colors”

“Frameless #1”

“Dancing Colors” - details

“Frameless #2 - Other display options”

“Frameless #2”


“Mosaics” - “Look for Your Self” - “Natural Composition” - “Objects with Timeless Patina” / Installation View

“Mosaic - 9 Red States of Mind”

“Mosaic - 9 Blue Moods in Search of Lost Time”


Peter Fox After graduating from Harvard with a concentration in primate anthropology, I spent many years roaming the jungles of Los Angeles acting on stage and screen, producing, writing screenplays, and directing plays. After leaving Hollywood and moving to Ojai, I became restless. One day, I looked around at the diverse oddities I had gathered over the years on movie locations, junk stores, and flea markets. These found objects all seemed to stare at me and say “Okay, you got us here. Now what?” I started to see connections and put things together in what I came to learn was “assemblage”. I was suddenly, in a realm where 2 + 2 equals many things other than 4. Who inspires my brand of art? “Ballard Street” cartoonist Jerry Van Amerongen is an insightful, hilarious, and soulful navigator. Although I never knew of him previously, I found myself crawling into Cornellian boxes. Marcel Duchamp, I have to believe, was chuckling inside when he hung his urinal. And Kris Kuksi, Gerard Cambon, Carlos Grasso, Ron Robertson, and Ted Gall all push me to go further. Here’s what I’ve learned -Art is everywhere, in everything. Believe it. What is the thread that led me to art? “I’m here!” Yet I know someday I won’t be. Most of my adult life has been spent creating projects that say “I’m here, if just for a short time. ”Surely ego/vanity play their mischievous parts, but discounting those two nuisances, there is a deeper universal need to create something that says, “I was here and I had something to say.” As Lord Buckley put it, to “…stomp the terra!” My particular mode of expression often involves humor. But it is humor I take seriously. In my work and titles, I strive to create and share a spark of recognition with my audience that says, “Right. I get that.” But what is “that”? For me, it is how we are all trying desperately to navigate the complex absurdity of quotidian existence…with mixed results. Creating these pieces gives me great pleasure, and like all the other creative projects I’ve done in my life, they flow out of me on their own accord. It’s child’s play. Remember that? www.peterfoxart.com (cover photo: Time Machine)


“Springfield Low Income Housing”


“Big Bang 2.0”


“I’ve Seen Things”


“The Sondheim Clown Who Refused to Be Sent In”

“The Speaker Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”

“Transportation Option”


“The Seeker: The Paths We Take”


Anthony and Cleopatra, Gilbert and Sullivan, Sam and Diane, Lunt and Fontanne... Grasso and Fox? Peter Fox and Carlos Grasso met at a party at Dr. Chris Landon’s Ojai art salon home three years ago and have been art compadres ever since. Fox is Walter Matthau to Grasso’s Jack Lemmon. Which is to say opposites do attract. “Carlos is a sweet, gentle, massively talented human being,” says Fox. “I, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more… well, P.T. Barnum comes to mind.” Their appreciation for each other’s work and the yin-yang of their personalities have been the glue in their friendship. And that glue has paid off with an upcoming two man show encompassing the entire Main Gallery at the Museum of Ventura County this June through August. Grasso was born in Buenos Aires where he studied both art and music before moving to Paris working as a professional flautist for 15 years. After moving to California, he took a class with master artist David Leffel, discovering his new passion: art -- abstract, mixed media and conceptual. That passion has paid off with his work having shown at major art exhibitions such as LA Art Show, Gallery 825, Art Share LA, The Loft At Liz’s, San Diego Art Institute, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, and a recent interview for Focus On The Masters, where his career as an artist was acknowledged and documented June 16th, 2019 at the Museum of Ventura County. “What might seem as nothing but a torn piece of canvas or a rusty sheet of metal to be discarded, I visualize as the perfect ingredient for my next piece of work. What might be viewed as worthless scraps of wood or slit fabric, I envision as works of art. They speak to me just as much as my paints and brushes, sometimes asking and sometimes demanding to be included in my art. They are the blood and bones of my current creations,” claims Grasso.


Over a year ago, Fox had an idea for a show and mentioned it to Grasso in passing. Grasso liked it. Fox, unbeknownst to Grasso, went to curator, Anna Bermudez at the Museum and sold her on the show: ACTUAL REALITY. With Bermudez’s approval, Fox sprung the show on Grasso. “Now we are both dealing with the reality of putting together a major museum exhibition, a formidable task.” Fox grew up with seven siblings in Wilmette, Illinois, a middle class village north of Chicago with all the Midwestern values. “I had a wonderful childhood, but art was never a value encouraged there.” After graduating from college, Fox moved to California. “My brother lived there and I had never been.” After parking cars and waiting tables, he wound up bartending at the upscale Mr. Chow’s in Beverly Hills. It was there that he mixed a Gin Ramos Fizz for the owner of the top commercial agency in Los Angeles. “I had a SAG card since my mom got all us kids modeling and doing commercials for Sears and all the other catalogue firms in order to pay the bills. Long story short, from that Gin Fizz I signed with this agency and had a good 25 year career as an actor in TV and movies – something I never came out here to be, believe it or not. But when that career faded I was restless and needed an outlet for my creativity. That’s when I found art, or it found me.” Only appropriate since his field is “Found Object Assemblage” having shown at The Porch Gallery, 525 Gallery, the Beatrice Wood Center, and the Sylvia White Gallery among others. This duo of Grasso/Fox describes their show as such: “We live in an Orwellian world where smartphones have become an appendage, where Virtual Reality poses as real. Facts are labeled as hoax. Scientific evidence is discounted as suspect. Words have no meaning and actions are spun into a rabbit hole of unaccountability.

Carlos Grasso experiencing

Actual Reality Goggles We have created an exhibit entitled ACTUAL REALITY. There is a certain level of humor to our concept, but our aim is to comment on the present day disconnect between what is real in our world and what is increasingly becoming unreal. The cyber-world has its advantages, but what are we losing if the ease of entering the virtual world supplants what we know is the hard work of living an actual life?

Today we all spend many hours staring at a screen. We have replaced actual communities with digital ones. We invite you to come experience ACTUAL REALITY. Our art is tangible, 3D, assembled to provoke, stimulate and appreciate what is real.” Grasso lives with his wife Marina and daughter Artemisia “Arte” Grasso and a room full of paints, brushes, and inspiration. Fox lives in Oak View with his wife Julie, an entitled dog, and two ill-mannered cats. “We hope to see all our friends, supporters and many others at our show starting June 1st through mid-August 2019 at the Museum of Ventura County on Main Street in downtown Ventura.”


peter fox - carlos grasso

“actual reality� exhibit - june / august 2019 the museum of ventura county

Profile for carlosgrassoart

"Actual Reality" Exhibit - Carlos Grasso/Peter Fox - Museum of Ventura County  

Fox and Grasso met two years ago and the idea for the show quickly came to them. Fortunately, Anna Bermudez, Curator of The Museum of Ventur...

"Actual Reality" Exhibit - Carlos Grasso/Peter Fox - Museum of Ventura County  

Fox and Grasso met two years ago and the idea for the show quickly came to them. Fortunately, Anna Bermudez, Curator of The Museum of Ventur...

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