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 John Grazier  (1946 - )

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania      Known for: abstract interiors, facades, town views

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Ad Code: 3
"Lunar Landscape,"    oil on canvas, 40" x 60"
"Lunar Landscape,"
oil on canvas, 40" x 60"

Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following was submitted by the artist, April 2004.

John Grazier was born in Long Beach, New York, June 23, 1946. His father, then owner of the Bellevue Inn, a small resort Hotel in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania died when Grazier was three. The Bellevue Inn, demolished soon thereafter, is a ghost in the artist's dreams, which he has painted many times.

The artist's home and studio are located in mountainous rural Pennsylvania.

He is known for his paradoxical visual point of view and skewed perspective,
considering himself a "paradoxical precisionist realist." His images are invented or drawn from memories or dreams, and consist primarily of interiors of rooms, portions of architectural facades of Victorian buildings, windows, looking both in and outside, rows of telephone booths or old Greyhound buses, cityscapes, and landscapes with ornate houses and fences. Everything he sees is oddly tilted or twisted, but so accurately rendered that the impossible perspective is quite believable. There are no people in his pictures, but their inhabitants' presence is apparent, from the telephone receiver left off the hook, to the open drawer, open windows, door left ajar, or toys, chairs, cased wall clocks, and furniture leaning
this way or that in odd contradictory juxtaposition.

Grazier's career began with complex finely rendered pencil drawings composed of
thousands of tiny cross-hatched lines, then moved on to airbrushed india ink
on paper. His current work is rendered in oil on canvas, the colors saturated and exaggerated. After over thirty years of working in black and white, he says he "wants the colors to sing."

His work is in the collections of The National Gallery of Art, The National Museum of American Art, and The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, and The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas. Additionally his work is in university, corporate, and private collections across the country.

His exhibitions have received praise from critics in many articles in The Washington Post, The Washington Star, and other publications, and he has been the subject of major feature articles in The Washington Post Newspaper, The Washington Post Sunday Magazine, and The International Herald-Tribune, Paris edition.

Grazier has received grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The
District of Columbia Council on the Arts, and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation. He was awarded a fellowship-residency at The Macdowell Colony in New Hampshire. He was awarded a purchase prize in the Davidson National Print and Drawing Competition.

His first one man show was in 1973 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore
Maryland, followed over the years by one man shows at Fendrick Gallery, Lunn
Gallery, and Zenith Gallery, Washington DC, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, and he has participated in many juried and invitational group shows at various museums.

In 1990 he was commisioned to create sixteen large airbrushed india ink images of World War Two era Greyhound buses for the lobby of a four-hundred million dollar office building at 1100 New York Avenue, N.W., in Washington, DC; This building's lobby-entrance is the now restored art deco former 1940 Greyhound bus station.

Grazier says he drew complex invented machines as a small child, but was not
encouraged to be an artist and as he matured he had no inclination to do so. In 1965 at the age of 19, he was arrested for posession of five dollars worth of marijuana. The charges were dismissed on the condition that he attend college. The only school which would accept him was The Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC. There, the enthusiastic encouragement of professors Frank Wright and William Woodward, well-known Washington artists, led him to dedicate himself to the pursuit of the vocation of fine artist.

After a year at The Corcoran School of Art, he briefly attended The Maryland Institute College of art in Baltimore, Maryland. Art school seemed a waste of time to him, as he rarely attended classes; he considers himself self-taught.

The artist has represented himself for the last fourteen years. He researches profitable businesses and wealthy individuals, contacting them by phone and email, referencing his website and arranging private viewings for potential collectors.

He comments that he doesn't particularly like art, artists, or being an artist, but continues because it is the only thing he knows how to do. He states, however, that one thing keeps him interested in continuing his career: "The indescribable moment of ecstasy, shared simultaneously by the artist and collector, when money and artwork are exchanged. The mutual realization that the collector has provided a significant amount of hard earned cash and now posseses something he considers wonderful and very special, and the artist's awareness that he has given in exchange something created out of his own dreams and experiences.... that the presence of the artist will be felt during the life of the collector, noticed by him, his friends or business associates as long as he or his inheritors exist."

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