"Françoise as a tree on her father’s lawn,"
Jude Griebel, "Françoise as a tree on her father’s lawn," 2008, oil on canvas, 48" x 36".
JUDE GRIEBEL, The Maybe People
Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver
February 7 to 21, 2009
By Beverly Cramp
Growing up, Jude Griebel began drawing from the images he saw in children’s picture books. In art school, Griebel planned to turn this passion into a career as a children’s book illustrator. Then he had a change of heart. “I realized I was more interested in my own ideas rather than making images for others,” he says. But Griebel continued to use the visual language of narrative imagery, building up a large body of work that depicted young characters in allegorical or supernatural situations. He says the characters were metaphors for his ideas, but he found that people focused more on the characters themselves rather than the ideas they were supposed to represent. So about a year ago, Griebel began replacing the actual characters in his paintings with composed figures from makeshift materials and domestic objects, arranged to suggest character. In the painting titled Out on Your Own, matchsticks become the figures. In A Child as an Unwritten Book, we see a doll’s head on top of a book, with matchstick legs sticking out of the bottom, ending in two limp socks. “I’m still referencing folk mythology,” he says. “However, by erasing the people in my paintings it allows for a more universal reading of my work. The paintings also have a more supernatural quality.”