Keep up to date with the latest blog updates weekly
Meet Photographer Paul Grand
Meet Photographer Paul Grand
With roughly 250 large-scale images displayed and lit in museum-like environments spanning three floors, Paul Grand’s home in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania is a living exhibition of the photographer’s voyages.
Perhaps Grand’s most interesting journey is the route that led him to photography in the first place. A Brooklyn native, Grand received a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He then spent nearly 20 years in the corporate world as a Vice President and Director of Research and Development for Colgate-Palmolive. At age 46, he retired from the Fortune 500 company to pursue his passion for photography.
Yet any inclination to label Grand as a “late bloomer” in photography is squashed by the depth of his early works. In the 1990s, Grand walked more than 500 miles through the streets of Manhattan carrying 35 pounds of camera equipment and capturing the architecture, culture and semi-abstract shapes in New York’s most iconic neighborhoods. The project was so impressive – both physically and creatively – that it landed him an interview with Fox News in 2000.
Since then, he has traveled to countless countries around the world – Cambodia, Burma, Egypt, India, Mexico and Switzerland to name a few. While those trips certainly yielded their fair share of postcard images, what makes Grand’s photographic outlook so unique is his eye for the unrealized beauty in people and places.
“Over time, I have focused on color abstractions, both because I see them distinctively and because they allow the viewer to fully integrate brain thoughts, emotional feelings and experiential dimensions into a more complex, integrated response,” Grand says, aptly describing his title as painterly and textural.
“The details of my subjects exhibit wonderful combinations of shapes, objects, colors and textures, scarcely suspected on casual observation,” he adds. “They are simple, uncommon, commonplace images that the perspective viewer might easily pass unrecognized.”
Many of Grand’s images exemplify the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi that incorporates the beauty of things imperfect, incomplete, distressed, plain and weathered. His style variously reflects learnings from Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Piet Mondrian and Eliot Porter.
Using his lens as a paintbrush, Grand has been coming to Duggal’s Ruchika Attri and Ashma Bhulla for the past 20 years to realize a rewarding collaborative effort in contrast, saturation and printed production. It’s always a pleasure to have him alongside us in experimenting with different tonal ranges and textures to refine his distinctive view and vision.
Browse a few of our favorite images from Paul Grand below, and visit his website at paulgrandphoto.com to see more. Also, the Michener Art Museum is offering a tour of Grand’s home studio in Lahaska, PA Sept. 9 as a prelude to their upcoming exhibition, Paul Grand: Beyond the Surface.