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Creative Q&A #9 – Grant Hamilton

April 27, 2009


Today, I’m talking with Grant Hamilton, the Donald Judd of Polaroid photography.  His abstract and minimalist images are amazingly well executed, and despite the fact that Grant has quite a collection, each ‘roid is fresh and just as exciting as the first. I also love the mystery involved in his images — where did he find that group of colors? Unlike a painter, Grant does not fabricate these abstractions, but rather finds these colors and lines that exist in our surroundings and re-contextualizes them for us all to enjoy. His ability to see the shot before the shot is truly remarkable. Check out my interview with Grant and more images after the jump.


CR: What’s your artistic background?
Grant Hamilton: I was always interested in drawing when I was growing up and illustrated my school newspaper and yearbook. After that, I studied Industrial Design at the University of Illinois and earned a BFA in 1991. I worked in that field for a couple of years and now I focus on photography.

CR: What’s your favorite medium to work with?
GH: Although I have several digital cameras, I prefer to use my Polaroid SX-70. I like the mechanical process in creating the image. It is like mechanical painting.

CR: What medium would you like to work with?
GH: I’m getting interested in motion pictures so that will probably become a larger part of what I do creatively.

CR: Do you have a favorite personal work? If so, what is it?
GH: It’s hard to pick just one but I think my favorite is probably “Super Awesome.” You might have guessed that based on the title.

CR: Who’s blowing your mind right now?
GH: My daughter. She’s incredible. She’s smart, funny, thoughtful, and gorgeous. It’s so much fun to see the world through her eyes.

CR: What’s in heavy rotation on your iTunes, or CD player, tape deck, record player, etc?
GH: I’m kind of into the 80s revival thing going on right now. I’ve been listening to a lot of Cut Copy, MGMT, Van She, Kennedy, Chromeo…

CR: What’s next for you?
GH: I’m working on a documentary about the last year of Polaroid film. It’s very exciting working in a new medium but it is exponentially more complicated than still photography. I’m calling it Time Zero. Keep your eye out for it.

Check out Grant’s flickr set for more images and check out the gallery below.

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