About a month ago I walked into the design studio of the office where I work and was met by an array of beautiful square photographs spread out on the large center island. The work was a collection of prints in black and white and vibrant colors with a blurry, dream-like quality. My eyes gazed upon images of palm trees, the ocean, and surfers, then on to the curves of women, freckles, and lingerie. Finally, I saw the images of what might be an orchard, a flock of sheep, and a cherry blossom promenade. I was taken aback by how much the work spoke to me as a woman and my life growing up in the countryside of a surf town. I instantly feel in love with the photography of Daniel Grant.
Like most photographers, Grant uses a camera to tell a story of life and experience. Unlike most photographers, Grant does this by way of plastic cameras “Holga” and “Diana” produced exclusively in the 1960’s and manufactured as children’s toys. The outcome is a blurry, unfocused image, with imperfections and a visible lack of control, which, if you think about it, is what life is all about. Grant’s photography is expressive, emotional, and sentimental. The iconic square format illustrates the lack of technology, and a simplistic and purely functional way of photography. His work is untouched, unedited, and individually printed on thick fibrous paper. As a perfectionist I feel a release of pressure and energy when I take in his work, a reminder that nothing in life is ever controllable, anything can happen.
Grant photographs within a series of portfolios, each devoted to a different experience. His work has been featured at the SF Moma Artists Gallery, San Francisco City Hall, and galleries in Santa Barbara, New York, and across the country. He continues to travel and photograph around the world. Below are a few of my favorite selections from a few of his portfolios.
Portfolio: sand people
Portfolio: my affair with Diana