Daniel Grant knows his way around a toy camera. His evocative images of Northern California and Italian landscapes have garnered many exhibitions, in fact we have shared wall space at Rayko Photo Center’s Plastic Camera Show over the past couple of years. When the results of The Dreams exhibition were released (the juroring process is anonymous), I was not expecting Daniel’s name to be attached to the expressive photograph of black stockings below. The image received The Director’s Honorable Mention Award and the liveBooks Award in the exhibition:
A San Francisco photographer, Daniel is also a designer–two talents that combine to create strong compositions and points of view. He spent his early years traveling across the United States, Mexico and Europe, “where art, culture and the natural world made a lasting impression.” Drawn to the soft focus and ageless qualities of toy cameras (holga and diana), Daniel’s photographs reflect a timeless and ethereal quality that perfectly suits the subject matter.
‘MY AFFAIR WITH DIANA’ series began 10 years ago when I purchased my first DIANA plastic toy camera. The inconsistent nature of her images has been the inspiration. One minute she’s quiet, dark and mysterious, the next she surprises me with her provocative elegance and sharp focus. Many hidden complexities surface to create an interesting dialogue between a unique camera and the female form I’m expressing.
REMEMBERED LANDSCAPES: Just north of san francisco is a magical place where rivers, forests and valleys meet and beautiful country roads wind through a picture perfect landscape of rolling vineyards and charming towns.
Beyond its beauty, it’s also a place that reminds me of my father and the final days we spent here together reconciling the past and coming to terms with his mortality. these images reflect my memories, good and bad, of the many journeys i made here to visit him before his death and at his final resting place. they represent my struggle to let go of the past, provide closure and to finally color the darkness of a broken relationship with a renewed and mended vision.
These images celebrate the unique beauty and strength of my father.
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Laurence Philomène: PubertyJuly 13th, 2022