August 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Black and White – Artist Rodney Granger

Rodney Grainger is an extraordinary artist working with the same themes as Just Like Family.  In his own words:

Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1948 and raised by an African American nanny in racially segregated Birmingham of the 1950’s and 60’s, my wonder for the great paradoxes of that relationship has never ceased.  Ultimately visual images from this experience would ignite an artistic attempt to understand deeper human connections lying below those divisions within race, class and gender.  

For this narrative series Black in White, I have chosen to draw in charcoal rather than painting with color because drawing is so closely aligned to writing.  Black and white imagery also serves as a primary language of dreams and the unconscious and I believe is best suited for a graphic awakening the imagination.  

Grainger’s images are haunting and remind me that these early connections to a caretaker are mostly unresolved for many white people raised by African American women.  It must have been deeply troubling as a child to hear of the race riots in Birmingham during the 1960s.  Did he understand what was happening at the time?

Visit for more images of his work.

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