A cute pain 

For the month of February, Hamtramck’s Primary Space gallery further establishes itself as a local champion of all that is emerging from bittersweet and honey-buttery painter Trish Grantham.

With Toast, Trouble and Tears, Grantham — a self-taught artist from Portland, Ore. — draws from the comic-manga-sanrio canon to turn such items as white toast, teeth and cafeteria milk cartons into post-pop, sad-cute characters.

This show — like several recent shows at Primary Space by Kurt Halsey Frederiksen, Deth P. Sun and Amathin, to name a few — represents the influence anti-consumerist graphic design has had on young painters who came of age in the heyday of complexly drawn cartoons and graffiti art. The end result is a knee sock-wearing, Indian style-sitting contingent whose emotional discourse includes topics such as Hello Kitty.

In Grantham’s work, doe-eyed, pursed-lipped and pigtailed girls peek out insecurely from behind cameras and overgrown bangs. Snaggletoothed bunnies, wistful birds and dejected panda and squirrel characters — with names like Bunny, Robot-Panda and Carl the Squirrel — are not in short supply.

Grantham works mostly with acrylic, watercolor, resin and ink on wood panel, sometimes layering the panel with vintage Japanese paper, to create an appealing mess of smooth, simple sweetness. And while her style is slick graffiti-meets-graphic design, her ink-drawn characters are cushioned by dusty pink and blue clouds and smeared color fields of minty green.

 

Until Feb. 26, at Primary Space Gallery, 2750 Yemans, Hamtramck; 313-870-9470.

Melissa Giannini is a freelance writer. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation