Deborah Grant’s monumental 2007 work, In the Land of the Blind the Blue Eye Man is King, from the series By the Skin of Our Teeth, greets me when I first enter the Nasher’s special exhibition Sound Vision. There is no doubt that this work will grab your attention right away, because of its beautiful and strong color schemes with mainly primary colors, and interesting-looking stories going on, on a huge scale. I am fascinated with this work because I too am a visual artist who enjoys working in mixed media. I used to paste cut paper and other materials on top of acrylic painting, and her different way of using mixed media gives me powerful inspiration to develop my work. She not only uses oil and paper cuts, but also adds enamel and ink drawing on the background to enrich the work. I especially like how she uses ink drawing as patterns in the background. I also like how she flattens huge major images like animals, figures, houses and cars with strong bright colors, and black silhouettes, contrasting with small details of ink drawings on the background. I hope you enjoy this witty and clever transformation of important historical events into visually pleasing and playful work.
Ji Young Chun is a graduating senior at Duke University.
IMAGE: Deborah Grant, In the Land of the Blind the Blue Eye Man is King from the series By the Skin of Our Teeth, 2007. Oil, archival ink, paper, Flashe paint, and enamel on five birch panels; 72 × 180 × 2 inches (182.9 × 457.2 × 5.1 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC. Museum purchase with additional funds provided by JoAnn and Ronald Busuttil; 2013.13.1. © Deborah Grant. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.