Grimstad is at Winter Fantasy, which takes place Nov. 19 through Dec. 11 at the Sawdust Art Festival, 949-494-3030, sawdustartfestival.org.
Grimstad creates three-dimensional art from recycled materials, works in paint and pen-and-ink, and crafts “holiday angels” from old greeting cards. He uses the same ethos to make succulent arrangements and small landscapes. He also reviews opera and classical music, backpacks, swims, cycles, runs, and dances.
“I usually walk the dog twice a day, and if I see something in the street, I’m not too proud to collect it.” As a result, Grimstad has 12 large boxes of ephemera to work with, including coffee cup holders, cotton swabs, and corks. Even the frames are recycled, courtesy of a dumpster-diving friend.
All of Grimstad’s varied pursuits inform his work. Drawing inspiration from Romantic composers, museums, international travel, and the outdoors, his subjects include barns, architecture, and local landmarks. “I like creating a wide range of pieces that will appeal to different people in different ways.”
Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin at Harvard University and Director of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Jan M. Ziolkowski's new book, The Juggler of Notre Dame and the Medievalizing of Modernity: Volume I: The Middle Ages, was released June 2018, featuring Christie's stippling distillation of Jules Massenet's Le Jongleur de Notre Dame (2009) in the preface of his 566 page documentary:
The account of concern to us here has traveled under various aliases. The story is simplicity incarnate, but it also displays an astonishing plasticity. Most often, it has borne in English the titles Our Lady’s Tumblerand The Jongleur of Notre Dame. The two versions are closely related but not fungible. Many renderings of them have been deceptively simple in the number and nature of their narrative elements. The narrative can even be pruned at its barest minimum to the interior of a high-ceilinged Gothic church and a ball, by way of which the cover art to the program of an opera production summed up the whole narrative (see Fig. Pref.1 below).
Not even a single human being is present. Gothic is familiar to everyone who has traveled in Europe, the Americas, and many other places around the globe that were once gripped by European imperialism or tied to its national cultures. The principal elements of the style instantiate the gist of medieval Christianity: the pointed arch conjures up a monastery, acathedral of Notre Dame, or both. By visual metonymy, the sphere evokes the juggler himself.
Fig. Pref.1 Christie Grimstad, Le Jongleur de Notre Dame, 2009. Ink stippling, 28 × 35.6 cm. © Ken Fish. All rights reserved.
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