The works of Joe Girandola attract our attention to minute details often overlooked in the corrupt rush of modern society. Though classically trained as a stone carver in Italy, Girandola has veered away from the traditional aspect of precise carving to concentrate on a variety methods and media. Dragging a block of stone behind American “gas-guzzlers,” a sculpture is shaped by the streets in which it travels. Retrofitting these blocks with drawing devices and recycled motors enables a two-dimensional work to emerge with the memory of its destructive past revealed. The Shitkicker Drawing Machine is fabricated out of used cowboy boots and a foot-controlled motor. Using dirt retrieved from the Trinity Test Site in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the drawings of mushroom clouds are “created” by the viewer sitting in a lawn chair depressing the foot-controlled motor. Fabricating sculptures out of new and improved cigarette filters or twisting cast-away eyeglasses into makeshift weapons, Girandola attempts to focus an American societies fascination with violence. Another media of choice is Duct Tape. Invented originally to weatherproof military ammunition boxes, the tape’s color was characteristically Army green. With the rise and abundant use of Central Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units, the matte gray color and universal name of Duct Tape was introduced. These drawings reflect on the ingenuity and creative force behind the thrill of victory and the pursuit of innovation and invention against difficult odds. The drawing/painting/collage entitled Horse Sense depicts two horses in their stable watching a Horse Race on TV. A humorous overtone masks the troublesome trend of multimedia stimulation that is proliferating our society. The stark black, white, brown and gray portraits are prevalent in Girandola’s works as he investigates a number of societal problems that are routinely covered up in our quick fix society.
Artist Bio / CV
Joe Girandola is a professional artist originally from Baltimore, Maryland and has exhibited work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Geffen Contemporary,1996, Los Angeles; Kunsthalle Wien,2000,Austria; 1997 Kwangju Biennial, South Korea; 1997 Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art (Nexus) Biennial, Georgia. Recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for 2003-04, Girandola returns to the Omaha area from Santa Fe, NM where he was Assistant Director for the Santa Fe Art Institute until May of 2004. In addition to the Pollock-Krasner Grant, Girandola has been awarded an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Assistance Grant, Change, Inc. Grant administered by Robert Rauschenberg, and an Artists Fellowship, Inc. Grant allowing him to focus solely on studio work. Currently maintaining a studio in Los Angeles, CA, Girandola has received an artist fellowship at The MacDowell Colony in 2004. and a fellowship at the Caldera Artist Residency Program in 2006. His outdoor sculpture commission works in Nebraska are part of the collections of Robert and Karen Duncan, Lincoln, NE and Steven and Carol Bloch, Omaha, NE. He has had recent exhibitions at the r3 Gallery, San Diego and the Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles.