Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An update and some ruminations

Here's an update to the S1W17 segment. Not too much to reflect on here.

But other things have been crossing my mind. I wonder, for example, if my Map is the largest modern painting. Or if there are any other such projects around. My hunch is that it is unique in the world of art, modern or ancient- one single perpetual work that has been in progress for  a little over 48 years and which now covers over 1300 square feet of surface.

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling, by comparison, took 4 years to complete and covers about 5600 square feet. It's not as detailed as my Map. So, it's hard to compare the two. I'd love to have my work be as expansive as Michelangelo's, but I probably will not live long enough to get there. Nor do I have a Pope Sixtus V to support me while I work on it.

Anybody out there know of comparable works? Perpetual works?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On modular art

One of the beauties of Jerry's Map is that it can be collected piecemeal. This art is modular. You can buy a panel now and add adjacent panels later to create a bigger work. As a matter of fact, you can send me a message requesting that I post certain panels on eBay. I will try to accomodate such requests whenever I can.

So, if you have bought a panel or see one that you like and would like to augment that area with contiguous panels, let me know!

The largest installation to date is that of a collector in Grand Rapids. In 2009 he bought 35 contiguous original panels for installation in his new office. Our next-door neighbors here in Cold Spring have a set of 20 prints on their dining room wall.

I suspect that a lot of Map fans think that the work is only meant to be viewed in its entirety. That will happen in the fall of 2012, but one day this Map will be too big to assemble in any reasonable space (if I live long enough!). My intention, however is that each panel be able to stand alone as a composition. Some, of course, are stronger than others. Such is fate!

Whether you want one panel, framed and hanging on your study wall, or a set of 40 prints papering the whole wall, tell me what you need! I'll do my best to give you what you want!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

N1W1 is beginning to take shape

Thanks to Jason and Wendy and Anita and Michael and Paul and all the others who have recently bought Map panels on eBay,  things are starting to take shape. You can see most of the core of Ukrainia in the upper left of this montage. Jackson is that urban panel right near the center of this page.

Tell your friends to get on the stick and buy a few, too! The dollars help keep me in cartridges and pay Roberto whose help on the computer has allowed me to spend more time in the paint pots.

Things are at a very exciting stage right now. The "ziggurat" collaging is very satisfying. The creation of the first Void city is intriguing. The anticipation of a Void language keeps me fantasizing. All good stuff!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

N1W17: First Iteration

Here's the first iteration of Segment N1W17. (I have decided to call them segments since they are not, technically, quadrants.) I anticipate that there will be at least ten of these segments since each comprises 256 panels, and there are well over 2300 panels now.

Other Map  news: The Void's characteristics are taking shape in my mind, and the evidence will start to show up here soon. I am beginning to think that the inhabitants of The Void are those people who have been displaced from The Map itself. And I like Shaz's suggestion that the language of The Void not be expressed in the Roman alphabet. I suspect that it's going to be composed of hieroglyphs. Sound good?

Keep with the comments, folks! I need feedback! Thanks!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

S1W1: First Edition

Here's the first posting of the S1W1 "quadrant". (Apologies for the lack of cropping!) It's starting to take shape. Thanks to those of you who bought the eight panels shown above. I still have panels to post to other quadrants and will do that soon.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A simple appeal

Most of you already know that The Gretzinger Map will be shown at a major contemporary art museum in late 2012. We are very excited about this and anticipate an enthusiastic response.

In the meantime, however, we are writing to ask your help. The expenses of preparing for the show are mounting: ink, paper, paint, money for an intern/assistant, additional travel, meals.

We need your support. What you can do is hit the button on the right, look at the offerings, and then hit one (or more) of the "Buy It Now" buttons. The Map panels, tiles, and prints listed there range from $4.16 to $360. You'll get not just a unique piece of this huge work, but we'll put a thank you inscription on The Map itself.

If you don't see anything that strikes your fancy on ebay please tell us and we will attempt to put something out there that will work for you.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Some stats

I recently did an updated Map inventory, and here is some fodder for you fellow number freaks:

The Map is now composed of 2346 individual 8" by 10" panels. Of those, 1461 first generation panels have been completed or "retired". 1086 Generation II and higher panels have been retired. These numbers do not include the 45 or so original panels which have been sold.

The Map comprises 21 parishes which include 362 cities. The combined population is 15,925,015. The most populous parish is Southchurch (3,375,602), and the largest city is Ukrainia (2,407,704). The second largest is Geo (1,267,154).

Also in the news: the first Void city was created this week, and I haven't figured out what to call it or how to characterize and account for it. Ideas?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

N1/W1 Update

Thanks to a few recent purchases this "quadrant" is starting to take shape. Do you see Ukrainia up there? About half of it is now represented.

A word on my pricing of the prints and originals: when posting a panel for the first time I put it out at 120% of the average price paid to date for that type of panel. If it hasn't sold after 30 days I mark it down 20%. I keep doing that every 30 days until it is sold. I want you all to become collectors, and I want The Map to be affordable for everyone. I will let the market set the price.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I met with the director of a major contemporary art museum last week, and he has invited me to show the entire Map there in the Fall of 2012. Greg Whitmore will be there filming the installation, and my studio will be installed in the gallery, too, so that I can continue to work while the project is being shown. I'll give more details as the plans become firm.

I woke up at 3:30 the morning after the meeting, and, in my head, began thinking of all the people who have made this 48-year voyage possible. I want to thank some of them now.

I thank......

My late mother for giving in and not making me go outside to play baseball when I wanted to stay in the basement mixing paint or making collages

Rick for being willing to play my fantasy games with me when he really wanted to be outside playing baseball

Gerry for giving me the job at Hoover Ball Bearing which afforded me the time to start the first Map seeds

Jim for putting up with me while I drew maps on the walls of our apartment in Beja while waiting for my foot locker to arrive with the real Map

Barbara for bearing with me for as long as she did

Nelle and Aaron for coming to forgive the dad who couldn't hear their questions while he was engrossed in his project

David and Judy for urging me to take on NYC creative scene and thengiving me a haven in DC when NY was too much

The folks at that NYC art commission who gave me the official label of "artist" so that I could live in my AIR loft

To Stephen for showing me that years in the trenches can turn into days of glory, for sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm

Meg for being a wife/partner/friend/critic/inspiration/angel to me for these thirty plus years and without whom I would have died and this project turned to dust

Hank for rediscovering The Map in the attic in Cold Spring and being my techno-genius

Lucky for being a bright light and a believer

Lynn for years of artistic and graphic design support

Richie and Marco for finding tiles in the workplace and thinking the project was cool 

Chris for having a brain like mine and sharing that while he interned with me

Chloe, Matt, Brian, and Mike for being the anonymous (almost) Haldane fans and writing me those notes

The other children and young guys of Cold Spring who have collected the "tiles" deposited on ledges around the village

Ed and Peter who helped me reformat  the whole mess

Annie, Jane E, Olivia, and Lilah for being part of  Meg's Smith support group and, thereby, Map boosters

Michael and Michele for being such avid fans of the project

Cathryn for being an early devotee and wanting to paper her walls with prints

Jaynie for being a booster and guest artist

Those patrons who have bought prints on eBay

Jared for looking at what I was doing and telling me that the world needed to see it, too

Sony for trying to connect me with a gallery

Phil for telling me that The Map needed to be put on the Internet and then doing it

Anna for being a very longtime friend and for introducing me to Phil

Nancy, Bill, Thomas, Tibi, Gray, Violet, Penelope, Marco and the other "guest artists" who have contributed not just visuals but moral support

Kitty for including me in her second book

The guys in Berkeley who included me in that Oakland show- my first public exposure, albeit small

Waz and Fran, friends for more than 50 years, who lodged me during that show

Carl who validated me and the work and who would have shown it had he had the space

Carinda who had the space and the vision and the guts to give me my first big public showing at the Garrison Art Center

Thomas who curated that show and acted as my mentor

To Jaanika and Susan who shared that show (and another) with me and who have been unfailing supporters

Tracy and Mark who hosted the opening party and who have always been there with hugs or a poke in the ribs

John, Pat, and David who showed  their support by buying panels from the GAC show

Shelley who was the first to get one of the 4 by 5 foot vinyl prints

Jen and John who chose to feature The Map in their new dining room and who are exemplary next-door-neighbors

Steve and Jeff who selected me to show in the primo venue of ArtPrize 2009 and who gave me space for the largest showing to date

Rick who sponsored ArtPrize and made the first major purchase of Map originals for installation in his new office

Chris who gave The Map a ton of space in his gallery show in NYC

Dayna who selected The Map for showing at Right Brain and who has been a tireless cheerleader

Gail for her eye and her energetic hands-on input: watch for Volume XII of Uppercase

Pat for being an early fan and willing sharer of his editing knowledge

Kate for planting the seed on facebook that grew into the August buzz

Greg, the artist/friend/videographer who made the beautiful and masterful video that exposed not just the work but my creative process to the public

Shawn who recognized something special in the video and made the connection with the institution which will do the 2012 show

Joe for seeing beauty in what I have wrought and being willing to use his resources to put it on display

I know this list is long and that it rings of Academy Award speeches. I haven't won anything, and I have forgotten way too many people in making this list. But there is no best time to say thank you. Or, maybe rather, anytime is a good time. Thank you for letting me do it now.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Here it is: the first poor, lonely little panel of the N1E1 "quadrant". Won't you go to eBay and buy it some neighbors?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Home again!

I'm back in my Cold Spring studio once more and am very excited to be trying a new collage configuration. More on that later!

The trip home went smoothly, and I was able to deposit about 40 tiles in places like Mesick and Snow Shoe, Sandusky and Marion. Anyone found any? What boggles my mind is that I have distributed over 7000 of those little guys, and no one, not one single person, has ever contacted me about finding one. Well, that's not counting the local Cold Spring kids who started collecting them a few years ago and left what they thought was an anonymous note on my porch!

Also of note: a few people have requested original Map panels, and, in response, I have started to list a few on eBay. The first generation panels, entirely hand-done, will be priced at $240, and the later generations, largely inkjet prints with some hand-done additions, at $60. Go get 'em!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tiling the way from Michigan to New York

I am about to hit the road again to get me from the farm to Cold Spring where I can get back to work on this monster. Along the way I will be sprinkling more of those 2 by 2 1/2"  tiles. Tell me if you find one! These days I sometimes stick them up with poster mounts. Look for them at about eye level i\n gas stations, restaurants, motels, parks, rest areas! Good luck! It would be great to hear from a couple of you!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Here's the next set of 256 panels......or at least 2 of the 256 that will complete this segment. I love that s1e28 one because it's of the newest, most abstract variety. It, too, though, will, through time, start to look more like the rest of the map. (Five commas in a sixteen-word sentence! Anybody think that might set a record?)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Reflections on the preciousness of art

When I have shown sections of my map in galleries I have encouraged people to run their hands over the surface so that they could distinguish between parts that were photocopy and parts that were "first generation" collage or acrylic. Some people were horrified. The look-don't-touch principle applies to most art that is put on display.

But, as I said in a recent blog posting, my art is "of this world." I like that it responds to the world it inhabits, that kids with grubby fingers leave slight smudges, that a few drops of water from my freshly rinsed brush make the inkjet print bleed, that the acid-ful paper of the earliest panels yellows and cracks.

I suppose that what most artists cater to is part self-monumentalization and part succumbing to the requirements of the art buying patrons that their precious investment never fade, crack, smear, shrink, or be altered in any other way.

But life is about change. Time is change. All art will, at some time, disappear. I don't want my map to disappear. That's not the point. I just want it to reflect its having been in the world.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another nearly empty "quadrant".....sigh

The next 256-panel segment of sold panels. Hmmmm.....Maybe some of you will respond to my newest offer: naming a Map feature for you! In my latest eBay postings I promised the buyer that I would name a major Map feature for him or her. That way some of you who are not guest artists in waiting can make a connection with The Map. This project is, after all, of this world, and not out of this world! More on that issue later!

Monday, October 10, 2011

About "guest panels"

One aspect of The Map which could use a little more elaboration is the Guest Panel. I invite anyone to submit 2-D artwork for incorporation into The Map. The artist understands that his or her art will be copied and transformed over time. It will be added, as a sheet itself, to The Map, and a copy of it will be used to collage other panels.The original submission will, in subsequent Map generations, be blended with its surroundings.

So, if you are an artist or want to be, let me know! I will be happy to include your work in mine.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Another "quadrant" of panels

This new grid of 256 panels isn't very exciting, I know. Only one panel in this sector has been bought to date, and you can see it above. There will have to be at least ten of these sectors to show the whole map since the Map now covers about 2400 panels. Sales of panels have slowed a bit now, but I hope to be posting new sectors soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

And The Atlantic Article......

Go here to see what the Atlantic online had to say about The Map.....

Greg on Radio New Zealand!

Check out this interview with Greg Whitmore, the videographer of "Jerry's Map", on Radio New Zealand!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The next installment

Here's the next quadrant of sold panels....ahem! Only one panel to date, S6W19, has been sold in this quadrant which runs from S1 to 16 and W17 to 32. I hope that some of you will step up and buy some of those other panels. They are being offered on eBay right now with a starting bid of $1!

It will be exciting to see these pages fill up. You can help!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where am I?

This image represents the panels which have been purchased to date in the nearest (N1 to 16 and W 1 to 16) northwest quadrant. I figured out how, with the help of my Open Office software, to set up this grid and load scans into it. Hurray! This was a big breakthrough for me. Now if someone will just set up a similar grid on the internet we can begin to assemble the whole map there.

I'll add other quadrants as eBay sales are made.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My other life

Contrary to the general conjecture in the vimeo comments I am not a recluse or a hermit but lead a pretty ordinary life. If you'd like to know more about it my wife, Meg Staley, has a blog, too, and that's a good place to start: right here!

Thanks again for your comments and please keep letting me know what you'd like more of!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Journal

As I work on The Map I record changes to the rules in a journal. I started it in 2003 when I resumed work on this project. I now also record changes in the color palette. Let me know if you'd like to see more!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What's in the cards....

Here are the last nine cards drawn in the process of making The Map. As you can see, there is a lot of emphasis on scanning since it is such a daunting task. I tell people that it is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge- it's never finished. However, I do let myself change the instructions on the cards. I make my execute the current instruction and then change it for the next time that card is drawn.

In the deck somewhere is one card which reads, "Shuffle the deck and add one new card." The deck gets shuffled three times and then cut. The new card's instruction comes from a wait list of tasks that I want to see incorporated into the making of The Map.

Friday, September 2, 2011

And the winner is......N1/W14!

I drew the ten of clubs today and moved ten more panels down in the stack. That put me at N1/W14. The instruction was to make map blanks, the patched together heavy paper panels I use as a base for the painting and collageing. I have been doing this since the fall of 2009. You will start to see beer, pretzel, and cereal boxes as well as ticket stubs and old shopping lists.

You may be relieved to know that I put in a new cartridge today, and the print colors resemble reality. Yay!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back in the saddle

I got back to my studio in Cold Spring, New York a couple of hours ago from our old farm in Northern Michigan. On the way back I resolved to try to give you more insight into The Map via this blog. I'll try to do a post every day and explain the steps as I go. I will also try to put a new panel on eBay each morning.

So.......I drew the next card- the four of clubs with an instruction to either make a new sheet of reduced (1/16) images or, if I didn't have the scans I needed to do that then to do more scans from where I left off last time. I haven't checked yet to see which will happen.

Then I counted down four sheets in the current stack I am working on (N1 and N2). That took me to the sheet above, N1/W24. I made two copies. The original  (a generation II) will be archived, one copy will become the new generation III, and the other copy will be offered on eBay soon. The colors came out way off from the original, but part of the random function of my rules dictates that the miscolored print must be used as is. Tomorrow I will try to resolve the printing issue.

I am working now on adding collage to N1/W24 and adjoining panels. I work in a clockwise manor along the periphery of what had been painted in generation I. Had the card been a red suit I would have worked counter clockwise.

Any questions?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let's try again.......

I was reading some of the comments on The Map video last night and realized that some of you might want a Map print. So, I have started to re-list a few on eBay to see how it goes. The ones I had on there recently didn't sell. This time around I will put them out to auction. So...take a look!

And send me your questions......


Monday, August 29, 2011

Wow! Thanks, Vimeo!

Greg Whitmore, the videographer who made the short film of me and The Map, called me this afternoon to say that the editors of Vimeo, the website where we posted the clip, had listed ours as a "favorite" on their homepage. Now over 50,000 people have seen it. Wow!

You can check it out by searching "Jerry Gretzinger" at (Sorry I am not organized enough to give you a simple link.)

But a huge thank you to Greg and to Vimeo and to son, Henry, and to the folks who have posted very nice comments after seeing The Map!

Monday, August 15, 2011

When Is The Map Not a Map?

When it is composed of abstract images like this one. I got tired of being too literal and wandered off into random images some time the 1980s, actually. The older I get, the less representative The Map becomes......metaphysical geography!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A new Map collage

UICA in Grand Rapids is having an opening show in July, and I am submitting some Map prints. But, because the request is for works that measure 7 by 11 inches (and my panel prints are 8 by 10), I have patchworked some prints together into the new format.  I found the results so satisfying that I may offer some of these collages on eBay. I will let you know! What do you think?

Monday, May 2, 2011

ArtPrize 2011 is coming!

ArtPrize 2011 opens in Grand Rapids on September 21. I have registered and am hoping to find a venue big enough to accommodate the entire Map (on the floor). This is no simple task since the current over-all measurements are about 40 by 40 feet. The last time the whole thing was assembled was in our loft in New York in 1982, and it only comprised 800 panels back then.

I visited the lobby of DeVos place the other day, and that would be perfect! There are balconies on two sides which would allow viewers to see the entire project from above. The next step will be to contact the person in charge of that venue.

If we can come up with a venue like that one,  our friend, Greg Whitmore, will make a trip out with his video equipment. He's the guy who made the video that is linked to this blog. Now he wants to film the entire Map to incorporate into a documentary which he would like to show at film festivals. It will be great for me, The Map, and Grand Rapids if we make this happen!

Here we go!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Real Estate Sale!

The Map is for sale again! I have posted several prints on eBay recently. They are 8 by 10" (the original size of the panel) and are inkjetted onto 110-pound paper. Each one is signed and dated and can be mounted easily in a 10 by 14 frame. At $19 apiece you can't go wrong.

Start your collection right now!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

And after........

And here's the result! The new Generation V version of panel N12/W14. Can you spot the changes? Some are pretty subtle......


This is the latest panel to come up for re-working in my random selection process. It's part of the heart of Ukrainia, the largest city on the Map. I will do my overlay on this sheet and then show you the "After" image when I am done.