Profile: Deborah Grant (1968-)

Deborah Grant is a Canadian-born African-American artist noted for her work in painting and collage, particularly for her series “Random Select”. She lives and works in Harlem,¬†New York.


Early life and education

Grant was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1968 and spent the first four years of her life in Canada. She was raised Catholic and on occasion created Catholic shrines in the abandoned lots of Brooklyn with her brother. Grant received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in painting from Columbia College Chicago in 1996. She received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Tyler School of Art in 1999. After completing her MFA, Grant completed a summer residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. From 2002-2003, she was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem.


Grant’s works feature fabulist narratives in painting and drawing. Amalgamating images from a variety of sources, ranging from comics to art historical reference books, she creates imagistic stories that investigate cultural identity, race, and politics. Ranging from explosive flurries of color and collage to simpler compositions that address singular concepts, Grant explores within her work: “…[T]he idea of constant information bombardment or the chaos in the back of our minds juxtaposed with what is happening physically in front of us.”

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