By Lisa Morgan

Artist, writer, expressionist and DJ extraordinaire, Gordy Grundy, would describe himself as an “ambassador to the New Age of Aquarius, the Modern Era of Marvel and the Revolution of Reason.” This artist or creative force, if you will, seems to multitask with a colorful energy that seems to flow effortlessly and continuously. Thoughts are constantly in motion and finding their individual means of expression. You will have to excuse me if I let this unique and prolific artist speak for himself through most of this article. He has very precisely, crafted his thoughts and ideas beautifully and I would not begin to think I could enhance them in any way (you will come to see my point as you read on).
“I am a product of Southern California’s sunny beaches and snowy mountains. The surf culture has, or had, a deep soul. Hollywood has always been a huge influence. Ditto Disneyland. Umberto Eco and his Hyper-reality. Re-creation, making things better and brighter, is an American and very Southern Californian notion. Making it better or rewriting the script assuages the pain.”
“As a very little kid, in a conservative family, we went to breakfast after church at the Balboa Pavilion. Then we strolled into the next room, into an art exhibit with Ed Ruscha and Joe Goode. It blew my little mind. I did not know that a painting was allowed to look like that. It was a moment of transcendence. I never knew that Life had so many possibilities, opportunities or wonders until that moment.”
“Music is always present. I can’t paint without it. There is always a loud soundtrack in my head, a fast dance beat. Yes, I can spin a disc and keep you dancing quite well. I got a guitar but I don’t have the patience to learn an instrument. I did quite well in the nightclub business and I’d like to go there again. A happening or a club is another aspect of creating joy. I am working on several experiential ideas, tribal happenings, but they need dough and chasing money is boring.” (Here is a link to at least a portion of that soundtrack
Gordy makes sense of life through a belief system that he expresses and encompasses in his Fortuna Project. “As you know, our world is rather precarious these days. The only way I can make sense of Life is through a belief system. But which one? I went shopping for a religion and I left with an empty cart. If there is one commonality to every human life, regardless of age, race and creed, it’s Luck. Good or bad, we all have luck. No matter how smart, good-looking, well-bred or well capitalized you are Luck determines your outcome. Luck offers a level playing field. Luck teaches patience and urges gratitude. Luck is hopeful and optimistic. Luck asks that I make my very best and honest effort. Luck is the most wholesome religion I could find. As you know, Fortuna is the ancient Roman Goddess of Luck and I choose to throw my dice with her. She’s a hottie. I’m Fortunate.”
“The Fortuna Project was seven years in the making, with six shows, eighteen videos, over 3,500 images and five hundred web pages. I won’t stop until Fortunism rides alongside Catholicism, Islam or any of the heavy-hitters. My tongue may be in my cheek, but the idea is true. The Fortuna Project is an elaborate way of saying, ‘No worries. Be happy.’”
If you ask him what projects or creative works he is most proud of, his answer is, “All of it. None of it. I am most proud of the effort and the work I have yet to make. A lot of my writing has been very satisfying because it has impacted people the most. The prose has a much larger audience than the paintings. I was a long time columnist for an art journal that gave me unprecedented freedom. I could do and say whatever I wanted for an audience of artists. I was able to confront a life in the arts and laugh about it. How swell is that?!” For Gordy, the most difficult part of being an artist is the contradictions. “Making art is solitary and therefore lonely. Success demands the schmooze. The titanic battle of the introvert and the extrovert within one body is hell. Money is always an issue. Time is an issue. Scale is hard. The ideas are so grand but my paint kit is so small.”
His aspirations? “To keep swinging. I just want to keep moving and making. Great things, fair or foul, will come of it. As I mature, ‘things’ mean less and the ‘doing’ means more. The Existentialists have it right. There is a surf writer, Drew Kampion, who sends out an email every week. “Walt Whitman: Tuesday Evening”. It is a couple stanzas of a poem about the love of nature and humanity, about joy and gratitude. I don’t really ken to poetry but these have an impact. That’s what I aspire to – the liberation of joy and the freedom of pure gratitude. I guess I want to sweeten my soul.”
Most artists, most people have an idea of how they want to be remembered. When I asked him, what he wanted to be known as, he answered very wisely in my opinion, “I can’t think like that. My actions are true and pure, but I can’t control how that gets perceived. I can introduce you to some who think I am a saint and more who will swear I am a sinner.”
There is a fairly famous piece that gets taught in a few grad schools. It’s funny and hearty. He gets fan mail from it. “STRATEGIES, SURVIVAL SKILLS and GUERRILLA TACTICS for the AMERICAN FINE ARTIST” But if you are an aspiring artist, impressionist, creative being, I would highly recommend coming to see the work and meet the man in person. I have a feeling I’ll be feeling the energy running down his arm into my hand as I shake his hand. I very much look forward to that. He will be present at the festival every day of the event.
This will be his first show since “BURN”. “Last summer, BURN was a retrospective with over 300 works on canvas and paper. The Los Angeles show represented everything I have ever done. Over 200 pieces sold. I burned the rest. For AMFM, the new work is whimsy. I am using materials and technologies that I have never embraced before. You will see some aspects of So Cal, of Luck, of a simple philosophy. For AMFM, I want you to have some fun.”
For tickets and information to the AMFM Festival got to
To learn more about Gordy, go to his website,
Or to Fortuna Rabbit Holes: Click on these links, keep clicking and it takes you somewhere, like to a video Better Than: A Mantra for Modern Times:  A Shoulder To Cry On: We Look At Luxury A Different Way:
You can also check out his ongoing “Pussy Riot Vodka” project at
“The arrest of Pussy Riot horrified me; artistic expression can get you in the gulag. It could happen here. Even uglier, all the celebrities were jumping on the bandwagon and we knew they would move on when the spotlight dimmed. Pussy Riot Vodka looks real, ads, recipes; marketing plans, investor relations, etc. et al. Artist Michael Delgado and I designed it to keep attention on Pussy Riot long after they were old news. Upshot: The site gets a lot of hits, mostly Russian. We’ve been warned we can never go to Russia because we are so scathingly anti-Putin. Even funnier, Pussy Riot attorneys were horrified with the vodka and threatened a cease and desist, thinking it was a real product. Hmmm, what are their licensing plans?!” ~ Gordy Grundy