HappeningsCLT loved learning more about one of our favorite Charlotte-based photographers, Raymond Grubb. Raymond graduated from Davidson College and since that time has worked as a fine art and commercial photographer – and is a pretty good baker too. His fine art photography includes landscapes, portraits, and travel images, primarily in platinum palladium and photogravure. Raymond has been a recipient of numerous awards and grants including several Regional Artist Project grants from the Arts & Science Council as well as a Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. Currently, Raymond’s work is on view in Kindred at SOCO Gallery.
HappeningsCLT: Describe yourself in three words.
Raymond Grubb: Watching, reticent, excited.
HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?
RG: Bread, travel, daily life, my beau, French New Wave, Ralph Gibson.
HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
RG: I had sporadic artistic practices throughout my childhood, mostly drawing. It was in the late 70’s that I gave up wanting to practice medicine and turned left. I wouldn’t have called myself an artist until I was awarded some grants. Even with that, I’m more comfortable calling myself a photographer. It’s an ongoing exercise. It’s a practice, like meditation or cooking, always practicing. I have a steady artistic practice with satisfying personal results and I like sharing with an audience. Artists do something new – I’m just trying not to do something old.
HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?
RG: One ongoing project is Self Portrait in Another Body. I photograph friends, acquaintances, strangers. My presence and possessions become intertwined with the subject. It’s the space I live and work in, the space I fill. It’s the landscape I inhabit, the landscape I choose to live in. My mirror image is not in the photographs – I’m building the image from pieces of myself. It’s about how we fit into the space we create and fill. It’s also about comparing and contrasting others to others and others to myself. It is a confession of a restlessness in my own being.
HCLT: Where can we see your work?
RG: My work in Kindred: Photographers Focus on Family, opened February 3 and runs through April 2, 2016 at SOCO Gallery, is about Tom Thoune, my partner. I’ve been chronicling our lives together for 30 years. Three of these pieces are platinum palladium prints and one is a copperplate photogravure.
HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas?
RG: I have several number ones: The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, the Crista Cammaroto-directed Projective Eye Gallery at UNCC Center City, The McColl Center for Art + Innovation and The Light Factory, all with outstanding programming. And I will never forget what Ann Shengold brought to Charlotte in the 80’s – not only the work at the Knight Gallery, but also her own artistic practice, her friendship and encouragement, and her dog Rudy.
HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
RG: Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying , Sally Mann’s Hold Still, and Bernard Clayton’s The Breads of France.
HCLT: Best meal in Charlotte?
RG: Next door with my neighbors. The food, atmosphere and company are always INSPIRED.
HCLT: What is your number one art piece/place/event in NC?
RG: The stretch between Hawksbill and Shortoff and the getting there.
HCLT: What’s up next?
RG: I am developing a project, l’Arrière-Boutique, to work on in France this year. And my partner, Tom, and I are working on Pièces d’Or, producing images together to be printed in the platinum palladium process.