|Filled with colour, characterized by bold black lines, and always capable of sparking a laugh, Ileana 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 are sprang from her desire to finger paint. Minimalist but daring, hilarious but profound, and reminiscent of the art masters such as Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring, Grimm’s art is contemporary pop art in its purest form.
A native to Canada, Grimm’s artistic direction emerged from the doodles she scribbled in the notebook margins while pursuing her 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. Years later her art has found its way around the world through her own company, which creates apparel and other items featuring her signature warped sense of humour.
Grimm’s humour is hilarious but surprisingly sophisticated, owing 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 was Kliban, best known for his book ‘Cat’ and some
would say the inventor of the single panel cartoon with a third-person caption describing the action. “I’m drawn to the less obvious humour” Grimm says, “humour you are not embarrassed to own.” 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-cuff humour; Dex &Eddie, two bull terriers who “make stating the obvious absolutely hilarious”, and 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 who’s work has been commissioned by the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Ontario Science Centre, the National Capital Commission, McMaster University and most recently the Canadian Cancer Society.
Above all , Ileana’s artwork communicates a message, and a quick glance at one of her works is enough to remind collectors of the humour in life. “ How you live life is a choice,” Grimm says, “I choose to see the bright humorous side.”