Local Collectors: Taro
Describe this piece and its biographical details- name of piece, name of artist, when and where was it created? “ICARUS REVISTED” by Mark Grieve in 1995. This is a mixed media piece with charcoal drawing and painting on a wood panel with an engraved story.
Where was it living before you bought it? It was living at the Susan Cummings Gallery in Mill Valley, CA.
How did it come into your life? I was visiting my mother in Mill Valley over winter break during my senior year in college 1995. We went into the local gallery roaming downtown Mill Valley and noticed this piece. The story is one of perseverance where in 1911 a pilot set out to fly coast to coast in 30 days in response to a $50,000 challenge by William Randolf Hearst. The pilot did not make the deadline to collect the prize money but despite numerous crashes and injuries he made the goal of flying coast to coast. The story epitomized perseverance but more importantly it symbolized that life is an adventure and the flight was more about the ride than the money.
I did not think of the painting again until I started a company a number of months later. My mother surprised me with the piece as a good luck gift knowing that starting a businesses is a major challenge.
What makes it special to you? Despite curating pieces from more renowned artists, this piece stands out for a variety of reasons:
1) The piece has much going on: painting, charcoal, the handmade panel, the story, and even the back has surprise painting. It all makes for an ongoing experience.
2) It was my first piece of fine art and firsts of anything are usually either really good or really bad…clearly this fit into the former.
3) Helped me understand the layers that comprise art; the discrete elements helped me to notice the more subtle layers that, in other art, might not be so obvious.
4) The story is a reminder to overcome adversity during hard times both in work and on my own expeditions. I have leaned on it for inspiration more times than I can remember.
5) It was a cherry on top when I found out that a childhood idol, the late Robin Williams was also a collector of Grieve’s art.
Where does it live in your house/office? It follows me wherever I work. I’ve rotated a home office or onsite office over the years and it’s the first item on the wall.