Gromyko Semper's Realities

June 18, 2014

Gromyko Semper is a young artist who stands at the crossroads of two realities: One is grounded in a tradition of high cultural metaphor, while the other is a sensual dream world of feverish risk. He does not dabble in either, but instead bounds into both simultaneously. His comprehension and connection to the great religious and historical visual languages of the world is nerve-rattling to viewers because it is so concise, and he reminds us that, when used properly, the symbols and stories of the past do not sleep in volumes of dusty books, but boom with terrible, matter-of-fact authority, like a gun of truth. Unlike artists from previous contemporary generations, he does not speak the language of ancient fable out of irony or desperation, but out of sharpened passion and even out of love. And then, Gromyko rejects the purely classical tongue as quickly as we recognize it. It becomes infused with the aura of metaphysical science, kaleidoscopic incantation and blasphemous zeal. The crossroads is never resolved. We are compelled to take both roads with him at once. We find that reality is never fully tangible and dreams manifest as incontestable.

Add to this his prodigious work ethic, and we recognize in Gromyko Semper an artist who does not play games with his time. These are not tricks of craft, but deliberate, passionate and ever-flowing assaults on the mundane. Gromyko sings to us that the entire human experience is ours to drink, all history is now ours to bathe in, all visual textures of heightened complexity are ours to feed upon. As viewers, we cannot help but take his outstretched hand.

John Paul Thornton,
Art Education Coordinator, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.