For Aviv Grinberg, as with many artists around the world, projects have been cancelled and postponed due to the current coronavirus COVID-19. During this strange time in which the world has entered a state of lockdown, Grinberg chooses to be productive and embrace a positive perspective. This moment of isolation has provided him with the time to spend focusing solely on his work and spend many hours in the studio.
SB: If you could choose only three things to take with you into quarantine what would they be?
AG: For me, it would have to be a good album, a bottle of very dry white wine and lastly, an artwork to focus on and develop.
Currently, I am trying my utmost to utilise my time during this strange moment in history. Due to the current quarantine regulations I am able to solely focus on making art and have gone back to drawing, a practice which I have not utilised in a long time and I have been experimenting and playing with various ideas that I have had brewing.
SB: What music are you listening to at the moment?
AG: I am currently listening to the album, Circles, by Mac Miller. My partner recommended it and I have been listening to it on repeat, as I often do once I discover an album which truly inspires me. This is usually followed by a moment where I can no longer listen to the songs as they are embedded in my mind.
Mac Miller, “Circles” album
I was previously not aware of Miller’s music, but discovered that he was a young musician who sadly commited suicide at a young age. The album was released posthumously in January 2020 though created by Miller in September 2018, this macabre, sombreness, and sense of tragedy is in some way also inspiring, that his music and creativity live on and continue to resonate.
SB: If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
AG: I believe that if I were not an artist, I would have worked in film or advertising, much like Andy Warhol did, as I enjoy creating environments for viewers to become immersed in.
As an artist I do believe the career path requires wearing ‘many hats’ and applying oneself to the studio as much as ensuring a relevant network of collectors and gallerists are aware of my work, in order to build up my artistic profile which in some ways is a form of advertising.
Aviv Grinberg, Cleaning Commandment, 2019
SB: What is the first thing you would like to do once we go back to normality?
AG: The same as what I am doing now and everyday. Though I would like to present my works to the public and I plan on holding an open studio once the current restrictions are removed.
I am doing my best to see the silver lining of this most challenging time and finding comfort in the fact that I’ve been able to solely focus on making, creating and reimaging works, as usually I will make a commissioned piece, which once complete immediately leaves the studio.
However, due to projects and exhibitions being postponed I currently have a studio filled with works that I am able to expand and experiment with. One of which is an installation, which I created for Pecha Kucha, that I am enjoying re-envisioning beyond what I had originally planned and am excited to see what it will lead to.
Also, it seems like the best solution for this moment is to engage audiences with my practice through virtual exhibitions, in order to get a sense of the scale, form and themes that unify my works.
Aviv Grinberg, Feathered Shield – Gradient Beams Series, 2019
SB: Who has been your biggest influence?
AG: My biggest and most important influence has been my partner who continuously enlightens me through his work as an actor. His view and opinion is always refreshing and insightful. He also happens to be color blind, which inspires much of my use of vibrant colors.
I regularly discuss my ideas, plans and concerns about a project with my partner who is always able to provide me with a valuable opinion and a new perspective filled with positivity.
I’m my biggest critic, so having a hugely supportive partner allows me to work through my concerns regarding a project, and is part of my artistic practice.