Monday, January 09, 2023

John Grazier

DC area artist John Grazier died at the end of December in Pennsylvania as reported in this excellent obit by Emily Langer in the Washington Post.

John Grazier, an artist who at times lived homeless even as his works were housed at galleries and museums in Washington and beyond, his slanted depictions of Victorian houses, Greyhound buses and empty phone booths beckoning viewers into worlds at once familiar and strange, has died at 76.

He was found dead at his home in Shamokin, Pa., on Dec. 28 and was believed to have died the previous day of a heart attack, said his daughter Rebecca Grazier. He had spent much of his professional career in Washington before settling in Pennsylvania approximately two decades ago.

Although as far as I can recall I never met Grazier personally, I corresponded electronically with him multiple times over the years.  He was an immensely talented artist and draftsman, and an acute and observant critic of other artists artwork! He writes to me in an email on October 10, 2009:

Nice drawing of Christ.  I generally do not criticize other artists' works, but don't you think Christ might have looked more like a skinny, abused Jew, rather than a muscular Schwartzenegger?  It is a very nicely done drawing.  Keep up the good work, your great hand in creating artworks, and also your significant contributions as a journalist.

I am not going to repeat all the points made by Langer in the WaPo obit, but now let us observe how the art world - mostly the DC artwork "discovers" Grazier after his death.  By the way, not sure how Langer missed the fact that Grazier was and is represented (for many years) in the DC area by Zenith Gallery.