The mechanisms behind what makes us feel happy and good are the feed for Allen Grubesic’s line of production which is conveyed through a wide variety of media and expressions. Best known for his video Ooze (2003), where candy couloured shampoo bottles ejaculates to a meditative soundtrack, Grubesic also works with nearly any kind of material and media like for instance installation, sculpture, painting and even clothes. Shamelessly and delightfully Grubesic borrow manners from the art history icons and fuse easily recognizable fine art traits with iconography from popular culture. The merges elegantly avoids the pitfalls of irony but definitely becomes humoristic and funny – the smile is never far away. The playfulness and ease with which Grubesic operates from well up from many of his works, while a more anxiety-filled and dark side shines through in other works. This can be experienced in for instance the seven black snares that are clotted together in 7 days, One week (2006) or the four repetitive paintings Les Peintures Difficiles (2006). This dark side gives depth to his work that only from a first and very superficial glance may merely be about the glossy surface of things. The psychological state of pleasure resides right next to its opposite, where displeasure and dissatisfaction plays large roles in shaping our desires and needs, and one side couldn’t be without the other.

Delight of happiness is what we all strive for at the end of the day and it comes in many shapes, forms and manners. Personal consumption seems to have a direct connection to bliss, and a chemically enriched diet, prescribed or not, is yet another. Grubesic’s works with clouds of molecules in jolly colours and smiley faces gains an eerie edge when one comprehends that they are in fact portraying chemical substances useful for becoming ebullient, like Laughing Gas (2006) or Amphetamine (2006). A glamorous surface can be truly alluring and tempt even the fittest till surrender to the desires of beauty, sex, power and other life igniting forces that makes life so appealing, so captivating. Because you are worth it.

Allen Grubesic, still from Ooze, 2003

Allen Grubesic, still from Ooze, 2003