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Peabody Fine Art Gallery

Ileana  Grimm


Behind The Brush

Filled with color, characterized by bold black lines, and always capable of sparking a laugh, Grimm’s humorous and memorable paintings laugh at life with a wisdom that can only come from an artist who jokes that her desire to create art sprang from her desire to fingerpaint. Minimalist but daring, hilarious but profound, and reminiscent of the art of masters such as Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring, Grimm’s art is contemporary pop art in its purest form. A native of Canada, Grimm’s artistic direction emerged from the doodles she scribbled in the margins of the papers while pursuing a degree. People quickly took notice, and it wasn’t long before her work started appearing in multiple venues. After graduation Grimm set out to bring her art to a wider audience. Twenty-four years later, her signature warped sense of humor has found its way around the world.

Grimm’s humor is hilarious but surprisingly sophisticated, owing to her preference for twisting everyday terms and phrases. In her view, the best jokes reverberate with what is left unsaid, and that double-meaning is ever present in her work. One of her most prominent influences is Gary Larson, creator of the massively popular comic strip The Far Side. “I’m drawn to less obvious humor,” Grimm says, “humor you’re not embarrassed to wear.” Certain characters make frequent appearances in her art, such as Pearl, an outspoken woman who, in Grimm’s words, “says what women everywhere think but seldom say; Salty the clown, whom Grimm reserves for her more off-the-cuff humor; Dex and Eddie, two bull terriers who “make stating the obvious absolutely hilarious”; and the two fish in the fishbowl. Together, these characters provide a laugh for many of life’s crazy situations, and resonate with a wide range of collectors.

Grimm’s artwork is extraordinarily popular in Canada, and can be found in the collections of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Ontario Science Centre, the National Capital Commission, McMaster University, and many others. Above all, Ileana’s artwork communicates a message, and a quick glance at one of her works is enough to reminder collectors of the humor in life. “There’s always two choices in life,” Grimm says, “You can be happy or you can be sad. I chose the best way.”

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