Unveiling Modo-artwork with Brent Granby
Brent Granby is a longtime Modo member, resident artist at Parker Street studios and participating artist in the annual Eastside Culture Crawl, which Modo is proud to be a continuing sponsor. As supporters of the local art community, commissioning a Crawl artist to create an art piece for the Modo office was a natural fit—even more so with Brent’s main subject being cars.
How did you start the process?
Brent: After my first conversations with Modo, where we talked about the diversity of the fleet, I went back to rethink my initial ideas. For me, one of the more utopian, exciting aspects of carsharing is how it is going to change cities overall, if we can increase our usage per car and open up a lot of physical place in the city. That was my entry point: what would it look like if we had more carsharing and less parking in the city? I wanted to integrate the idea of a cityscape with cars in it and have a suggestion of something else—what else could be there or was there? That was my starting point and from there I tried to land on the right image, and the right way to make the image work!
Why did you choose this location? Did you already have one in mind?
I had a bit of an epiphany on that one spot, where I often get cars myself. This one shot with the steam coming out from a vent nearby in the background—there was a magical feeling to it. I went around and looked at other spaces, and did some other drawings to try and see the possibilities, but I think I landed on that idea pretty quickly!
How did you source the material?
I’ve been using scrap wood, that’s the way I’ve been working. It was kind of fortuitous that, right after I talked to Patrick [Nangle, Modo’s CEO] and Selena [McLachlan, Modo’s Director of Marketing and Business Development], I just happened to see this piece of plywood right behind my building, and I thought that would be super cool.
I typically work that way, even in this building [Parker Street Studios] I can grab a lot of materials just by walking out to the dumpster once a day and seeing what’s in there, that’s how I get most of the pieces of wood. That was great for this project, so I grabbed this piece of wood and brought it with a Modo car to my studio. Even within the urban landscape that kind of fit, I wanted to have the plywood be a bigger part of how the image was created too, in the way it is textured.
Tell us more about the tree in this image—it’s kind of there and not there at the same time?
I wanted to create a sense of mystery in that part, all the possibilities of what was there and could be there and for me questioning “Is it actually there, in that cityscape,” I wanted to play with that. But also use it as a metaphor of what could be or was.