Citizen Grey creates conceptual works that address topics of global importance and universal themes intended to resonate with all citizens of humanity. Through extensive research, he examines world history, culture and society, science, literature, politics, technology, philosophy, symbolism and spirituality. Citizen will spend upwards of two years compiling research for a single body of work. He signs all works with a singular thumbprint.
Citizen Grey is a pseudonym which protects the artist’s identity. By remaining anonymous, he maintains a democratic approach to art making, one that is not restrained by race, creed, socioeconomic class, culture or geographical boundaries. As a custodian of ideas, Citizen allows the art to speak for itself through an unbiased lens.
Citizen has completed graduate and undergraduate studies in Art History, with a dual Master's specializing in Modern and Contemporary Art History and the History of the Art Market. Upon discovering that it was more rewarding to produce art rather than write about it, he submitted two works to a group show at Artist Space, New York, in 2007. They were accepted. Lacking a body of work or the required technical training, Citizen then studied independently for seven years under distinguished art professors from Columbia University, Pratt Institute, and the Cleveland Institute of Art in order to become accomplished in the techniques of printmaking, video, photography, and drawing. While still an emerging artist, Citizen has placed work in the prominent collections of the writer, Dan Brown, and his wife Blythe and the collection of American fashion designer Kenneth Cole. The artist lives and works between Brooklyn, New York and Cleveland, Ohio.
His first series, Our Blurry Mind's Eye, was completed over a span of two years and included recording personal dreams over a six month period. Not unlike the dream process, Citizen cultivated a studio practice where ideas were bombarded with a successive rotation of images, and clusters of information rapidly form to create visual narratives. As a result, each work materialized into a composite of coded memories that captured fragments of thought and moments in time. By using found imagery from the internet, magazines and books, and his own photographs, Citizen constructed enigmatic dreamscapes that contain worlds within worlds that beg to be unraveled.
Citizen's second body of work debuted at the Clio Art Fair in New York, in March of 2018. His second series, Amplified Division via #FakeNews, is another research-based series that examines how social media is threatening the fabric of democracy. Looking to the past, this new collection of works explores how historical figures, all of whom pre-date Twitter, may have used the platform had it been available to them in their time. Designed to mimic the layout of a tweet, each work appropriates language from the writings of cultural leaders, innovators, intellectuals and tyrants, while maintaining Twitter's 280-character format. Their words and catch-phrases are then paired with current tweets and hashtags, in a format that suggests a "retweet" layout. For added effect, each of the digital prints are mounted onto Plexiglas that is meant to resemble the shape and form of a smartphone or a handheld device. Whether it is Sojourner Truth commenting on the death of Eric Garner, or Hitler commenting on the 2017 White Supremacist rally in Virginia, Amplified Division via #FakeNews offers insights into today's roiling social landscape through the words of historical figures.