The work of Nicolas C Grey is characterized by minute details that fill sheets of paper completely, depicting scenes of seemingly strange and often secreted human behavior. It is a densely populated world of characters that are drawn from obscure as well as pop culture references, “other-worldly” life forms, and from the artist’s imagination. The characters play out stories in scenes that are immediately familiar and imitate real life.
For the exhibition, Grey has reconstructed this internal landscape as an installation of three dimensional objects and backdrop that are covered with his intricate drawings. The purposeful exaggeration and repetition of images speak to an obsessiveness and compulsion to process external stimulus from media and society. The images take over and fill the space, leaving room for nothing else.
Horror Vacui is defined as “‘fear of the empty’;
filling of the entire surface of a space or an artwork with detail.”
“Horror Vacui” has been present in formalized art since ancient times. More recently, it has been associated with “outsider art” and mental illness. The artist in many ways feels a greater relevance with the latter, its obsessive nature and as an antithesis to minimalism. From the Wikipedia article, Grey pulls out this quote: "There is an inverse relationship between horror vacui and value perception, and commercial designers favour minimalism in shop window displays and advertising to appeal to affluent and well-educated consumers, on the premise that understatement and restraint appeals more to affluent and well-educated audiences."