This month marks Patricia Rovzar Gallery’s annual exhibition with Tyson Grumm, a surrealist artist who always has a story to tell.

In this body of work, Grumm recalls a cohort of inventors who are “All But Genius.” Each painting captures the story of gizmos, gadgets, experiments, and innovations that couldn’t quite get off the ground, but had the potential to change the course of our lives. This legion of notorious, albeit failed, inventors come together to inform a collection of hilarious, witty, odd, and curious narratives that could only be shared through the creative lens that has come to define Grumm’s illustrious artistic career.

The 24 different paintings in the exhibition transport us into an alternate reality where animals are fully fleshed characters that are often known to upstage their human counterparts. Grumm has written accompanying stories for each painting that read withthe dry humor, staged seriousness, and satire of a mockumentary.

Grumm’s paintings invite us into a parallel world where fantastical animals come alive and eccentricities are born. His images appear as if freeze-framed from a surreal film, so rich and full of narrative, we catch only a moment of a much larger story yet to be told. Grounded in a hint of the commonplace – a recognizable object, a conversant glance between two figures, a charming nostalgia – Grumm uses these familiarities as a point of connection and departure. A boat becomes a backpack, a chair is fit for a bighorn sheep, a ping-pong table hosts a match between an ostrich and a beaver, a rocket ship reveals a rhino. Created entirely in the mind of the artist, his figures often hold historical significance, appearing to be both characters and caricatures, distinctive and unusual. These colorful and unique works engage our imagination in endless possibilities, leaving behind breadcrumb clues to a path only traveled along by dreamers.

Tyson Grumm was born in Newcastle, Wyoming, in 1972. He studied at Southern Oregon University where he received his Bachelors in Fine Art in 1996.