kurt grannan artist


Grannan is a contemporary painter and graphic designer who works in a variety of painting styles, but always retains a sense of identity.  He paints primarily in oils on canvas and panel board.  It is not uncommon for him to use Dorland’s wax medium in his work, to emphasize the living and breathing texture on the surface of the final piece.  The storyboard quality of the broken spacial environment draws you in, and you are left questioning your observations.

“I have been an artist as long as I can remember,” Grannan explains. “It’s always been the core of who I am, and my path has always followed that of an artist”.

Kurt Grannan has a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design, and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati.  He has had an engaging professional career as a fine artist, commercial artist and illustrator.  He has many published illustrations, logo designs, and book covers.  He also has multiple commissions, a continuing gallery presence, and is a college level professor of art who has just finished a two-year appointment as a Visiting Assistant Professor, at Mississippi State University.

artist statement

Kathe Kollwitz offered us insight into the human condition, hunger and the tragedy of war.  The viewer, deprived of the experience is able to feel the human connection through her work.  The physical drawings are portraits, but what I find more compelling is the social commentary she explored in her studio.  Kathe’s work has always connected with me because of the union between the subject matter and the artist, between the viewer and the viewed.   The studio, where it all comes together becomes symbolic for the connection between an artist, social change, and the promise of future work.

Art as social commentary is a major theme in modern and contemporary art.  One whose goals are to retain what is good in society and diminish what is detrimental.  A visual image has the ability to simplify and bring to the surface complicated socio-political issues that our society overlooks or hides below the surface.  The work becomes visual propaganda.  Combining an interest in social change with the field of art is a way to promote awareness, provoke dialogue, and inspire action.

I believe the greatest voice heard is through creating contemporary art that addresses critical environmental, social, racial and cultural identity,  or human rights issues.  With images you spark emotion.  Combining this ingredient, art becomes a powerful voice and a way to reach people on a different plane.

With these beliefs in mind I am compelled to paint.  The paint and my studio become one in the same.  The texture, the smell, the brush strokes, become mingled with a voice to connect ideas, images and the viewer.

As a contemporary artist, Kollwitz embraced the responsibility to present a social commentary on the realities of society.  What I want is to see through my own eyes to connect art and ideas for positive change.

© Copyright 2014, Kurt Grannan