Fortuna by Gordy Grundy at Sala Diaz
On view through October 16

When I walked into Gordon Grundy’s Sala Diaz show Fortuna and saw all of the framed graphic design work, I thought for a moment, “Is this some ‘best-of’ show for advertising? A Harrod’s of London promotional package?” But upon further investigation—and since Sala Diaz wouldn’t do such a thing—I knew there had to be some “hidden meaning” behind it all.

The show’s main impression is part-country club paraphernalia (crests and trophies), part-banal self-improvement jargon and part-religion of art. By all appearances the work was made slick by means of commercial media, but the polish revealed some tongue-in-cheek joking—like the crested white hotel bathrobe and the Fortuna Yacht Club poster.

To really get the idea of what Mr. Grundy has put together, visit his website where this work was generated and can be viewed in context. Mr. Grundy (Fortuna’s Viceroy) stands not only as the head of The Fellowship of Fortuna (a.k.a. The Church of Chance), but as the proprietor of works that resemble our culture’s self-aggrandizing propensity to give awards, produce difficult-to-obtain designer labels and create “blue chip” trophies. In a sense, the show is about fine art regalia.

One piece that stood out was an award to Linda Pace (philanthropist, artist and founder of ArtPace). I assumed upon viewing this work that it was sarcastic, but heard later it is sincere. And why not? That’s what the whole show is about. It’s about make believe and “hey, let’s give away a make believe award.” Its done with an anyone-can-be-a-member spirit that says “This Bud’s for you!” With all the luck coming out of this show it reads as a modern day temple to the Roman deity Fortuna. Go in and you’re bound to find success…or at least its glitziest and most trivial accoutrements.

Overall, the show is both redundant and creative. There are many ways to oversell a concept. That’s the idea behind the display—redundancy—like the over-saturation of Oscar night. Plus, there is this element of fine art clubbiness that smacks of a designer label and is also funny.
I could picture this congested art atmosphere out in California. Fortuna would seem necessary there as an invented emotional outlet for dealing with art world experts, Grand Holy Art Masters and Royal Museum Boards of Governorships. Let’s call a spade a spade, right?

On Mr. Grundy’s other website,, he puts things into perspective. Fortuna is entertaining, whether situated on a computer monitor or a gallery. After all what’s the difference between their false realities?

ANNOUNCEMENT: On First Friday, October 7, 2005, at Sala Diaz, artist Gordy Grundy, a representative of the Fellowship of Fortuna, will present Linda Pace with an award that designates the San Antonio art patron as a "Paragon of the Fine Arts." This award, the first of its kind, is presented to outstanding individuals in the Fine Arts who “set a shining example for others to follow.” As inscribed upon the plaque, “This year, we celebrate the Ten Year Anniversary of Artpace. [Pace’s] creation has become a local landmark and an international beacon."

Sala Diaz
517 Steiren St.
San Antonio , TX 78210
tel. 210.695.5132
Gordy Grundy