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Joel Grimes

Joel Grimes

For me art is an extension of life. I believe my passion to create is built into my very DNA. Art is not simply defined by the finished product, but by the process one pours into the very act of creating.

As a young child, I had to be drawing, painting, sculpting, playing music or building something. Anything that I could call my own; my stamp, my signature, my creation. To step back and say, I did that. It is an explosion of self expression poured out in the unending process of living. Creating is as natural as breathing.

Attending my first official art class in middle school was nothing short of heaven. To have art taught in an academic classroom gave validation to the process of creating. It wasn’t until my freshman year in high school, that I was first introduced to photography. From the very beginning, it was a perfect marriage. By the time I began attending college, my passion for the photographic process was all consuming. In 1984, I received a BFA in photography from the University of Arizona and soon after established a commercial studio working out of Denver, Colorado.

Even working in the commercial arena, I have never ceased to view myself as an artist. To position myself any other way would be absurd. I believe it is this uncompromising passion to create that has allowed my commercial work to compete in the market place.

For over 32 years, I have worked for many of the top advertising agencies across the globe. Over the years my assignments have taken me to every state across the USA and to over fifty countries around the globe.

In 1992, I produced my first coffee table book, ‘Navajo, Portrait of a Nation’ which received a number of photographic and design awards and produce an eighteen-month solo exhibit at the Smithsonian American History museum.

In defining my work, I view myself as an illusionist; creating images larger than life. The photographic process is in a constant flux of change. I believe embracing that change gives me a greater option to fulfill my vision as an artist. Without question, I believe we are in the greatest age of photography since its conception.

Over the years, I have sought to be an ambassador for the photographic process, by teaching workshops and offering video tutorials. I feel that by being an open book with my process, I have an opportunity to inspire others to follow their dreams and passions to create. It is with great pleasure to announce that I have now been added to the prestigious Canon Explorer of Light team.

I currently reside with my wife Amy in Phoenix Arizona.

Joel Grimes


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