WORDS BY TOBY SCHMITZ. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANNY GRETSCHER.
Standing in front of a Gretscher is spellbinding. It comes replete with its own vocabulary: a constellation of symbols, characters and allegories that describe a wholly original world, which simultaneously reveals a fraction - often subtle but sometimes stark - of our own. This language has layers and has become even more intricate over the past decade, but the core of abstract figures continues to be totemic, with all the power that this word implies.
"Sometimes I get these impulses from somewhere deep in the universe, which occur to me as emotions. I dress these sensations in colour, and sometimes drawing just a few lines is enough to make them visible all of a sudden."
I see travellers, heroes, lovers and the occasional villain. I see gods -minor, apex and more recently, avian- all radiating and in dialogue with Gretscher’s ready, unique thesaurus. From one angle, there are tantalisingly mysterious conversations, and from the next, others that are completely identifiable with the human story. Even the literal titles continue to reflect new interpretations as you mull them over. For me, his pieces bristle with the unfathomable magic of the Shakespearean canon: at the same time unparalleled yet humanist. His colour, his organic delicacy, his mighty...