3 / 27

Gruzis doesn’t like to ascribe meaning to his pieces — “that’s the payoff for the viewer; I personally don’t care” — but that in itself forms the idea behind his practice. He chooses purposefully vapid subject matter like palm trees and flamingos, then renders it using rigorous traditional painting techniques, at times combining it with classical Dutch still life imagery (above) and other allusions to his high-art background. The effect sends viewers into what he describes as a “feedback loop,” where they’re searching for meaning in the works but getting conflicting signals as to whether there is, in fact, any to be found.