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Grandinetti, Frank

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2028 S. Canalport
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Website: Frank's Website

Frank Grandinetti, Jr.

July 9, 1973 - January 8, 2006

Frank Grandinetti, Jr. was born and raised in Chicago. As a young child, Frank became engrossed in comic books. Swarms of illustrations found themselves on everything that absorbed ink: mail, the kitchen table, calendars, take-out menus, receipts, etc. Up until Frankâ€"s early twenties he was self-taught. His on-going aspirations to be an illustrator fueled him to study at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. It was at the Academy that he began to paint and incorporate graphic design into his work. During and immediately following college he took several freelance positions designing posters for vaious events and working with small ad agencies. Frank was also able to aquire a solo show at the American Academy of Art Gallery in 2000. In 2006 and 2008, his work has been in two curated shows at Gruen gallery in the River North district and at Ven Sherod in the Chciago Art District.

In 2001, after receiving his BFA, he began working at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago as a graphic artist. A couple years following, Frank came down with Ewingâ€"s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. In the two years that Frank survived, he produced some of his most enigmatic pieces. There is a certain discomfort in viewing this body of work, which is intentional. Even when the pieces are humorous or endearing, there exists the filter of social consciousness through which Frank saw the world. His pieces are conceptual at times, exploring surreal and supernatural themes and political and witty, at others. However, a thread of scrupulous honesty weaves together the different periods of production. The inner and physical battles Frank dealt with before and after his illness, provided him with an insight into the ineptness of our current social structure. In the sea of commercialism and the race for product accumulation that further handicaps people emotionally and physically, honesty is an obscurity.... or as Ogden Nash stated "Purity is obscurity". Underneath the finely packaged version of each of ourselves lie the same truths and inevitabilities. The illusion of film, books, and music can carry us into a world where truth is merely a supporting character. Frank worked to unveil the masks we hide behind to momentarily bask in the rawness of ourselves- wrought with terror, loneliness, even hatred in response to the inability to ever receive the quality of life we all deserve, but are all too broken to give to ourselves or others. He stumbled on the realization that it is only when we come face to face with our horrors are we truly free. And thus, true freedom cannot be bought or broken, because it lies within us, not in the confinements of our society.

This excerpt comes from Frankâ€"s Critique at the end his study at the Academy of Art.

"As I hope these images strongly suggest, my art, when constrained to commercial purposes (it has been my instructorâ€"s unfortunate task to repeatedly inform me that a commercial artist must do commercial work), tends to focus on social ills engendered and perpetuated by the status quo. To put it more intelligibly, my work tends to attack what some call the 'established order'.
However, I believe that there is a small possibility that I might be able to air my views artistically via editorial illustration, a branch of commercial art that welcomes and requires strong political and social views. With Luck, and of course perseverance, I may be able in this manner to gain at least partial financial support without totally compromising myself.
……………………………….........................................................And how are you?"
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