Grason Mikal Ratowsky


My name is Grason Mikal Ratowsky, I was born in Seaside, Florida. I live and work between Mallorca and New York.  One son, Rothko Ratowsky. I try to live by a simple motto: “Stay humble & stay hungry.” I’ve also always loved this quote by Michelangelo as I am a firm believer that one must risk to gain. “The greater damage for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it it too low and we reach it.” 

Photo. Kirill Kirsanov.

Technically I am a self taught artist, although I’d like to think each of our experiences and history shape our paths, the cliché school of life if you will… I’ve always been creative and have lived my entire life completely entrenched within the arts. My mother was an actress and my father is a painter so my family traveled around the world always surrounded by the arts. I had a small boutique/gallery in Brooklyn about 17 years ago before the big galleries moved over there, where we collaborated with young local artists in the scene at the time.

I’ve also played a part in almost every facet of the design world from fashion to furniture to designing visual identities for major international brands. That history and the technical aspects of design that I learned such as composition and color psychology of course poured over to also play a big part into my style of fine art. At the heart of everything I’ve ever done art is involved. Art and life is one entity for me. 

Photo. Eve Campestrini.

My works are physical representations of the extruded subconscious. Fragments of memories, experiences and imagination come forth to compile uniquely schematic arrangements that invite the viewer to move into a space of speculation. Rooted in expressionism, the process involves a surge of wild strokes to a given surface with little end intention in mind. Once the vision begins to reveal itself, steps of deduction and abstraction ensue to finally highlight and exemplify form and figure. In this way, I do not hold a definite intention to paint objectively; I paint what lies in between. I paint the writing between the lines.

When a figurative object placed in a scene is brought to life in my paintings, it is not the figure itself that I am translating but the emotion it evokes. I highlight the soul of the scene rather than the universal comprehension of it. Merging the lines of styles, mixing expressionism with surrealism and figuration help me rearrange the usage of output to identify a hidden meaning. An unforeseen truth is revealed to the viewer in which they’re able to weave in their own personal emotional value and story.

Photo. Manu Valcarce.

I’m motivated through a drive to be understood through my art. It’s how I communicate and the only way I feel I can truly present myself to the world to connect with others.In all transparency, I also have a strong inherent competitive force (with myself & towards others) that keeps me fired up and motivated to always move forward.

Some important artist influences on me are (in no particular order): De Kooning, Cecily Brown, Nathan Oliveira, Oscar Murillo, Asger Jorn, Asger Jorn, Lee Krasner, Gorky, Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Basquiat, Matisse, Karel Appel, Ian Ratowsky (my father).

My studio is a converted sheep feeding den from the late 16th century located in a tiny hamlet in the middle of Mallorca. It’s in an open valley, flooded with beautiful light and surrounded by nature and animals. It has a very authentic quality of character as the walls breathe a palatable sense of history. It’s an incredibly inspiring place to work. 

Art? Everything I do has art intrinsically involved. Art is life for me and vice versa as I can’t seem to differentiate between the two. The two conditions/entities are one and the same. Art is my communication, my therapy, my love, my passion, my fears and what I see in everything around me both good and bad. I believe family, art, community, nature etc.. are all interconnected, all intertwined. It all flows together. I believe perhaps, that to be the definition of the artist spirit – The ability to see art in every aspect of one’s life. 

Piece with Artist. ©

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