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Nicholas Grider: Men in Suits

January 16 - March 15, 2009

We construct our sense of identity from bits and pieces of experience, genetics, accumulated information and perceptions of our role and stations in life. Then we gather things around us that reflect that sense of self in taste and style. Photographer Nicholas Grider is interested in how these elements come together to constitute who we are.  Grider’s work poses men in their business suits within their domestic environments. The resulting images, shot under natural light, are formal compositions that speak of the subtle ways in which culture, taste and choice shape identity.

As an on-going component of this exhibition, Nicholas Grider will be using one of the gallery walls to continuously add new portraits. He is looking for individuals who are interested in participating by having their images be a part of the show for its duration.  Men or women who are willing to dress formally and be photographed in daylight hours in their home should call Portrait Society at 414.870.9930. The resulting 12 x 12 inch prints from these sittings will be available for $200. (The project wall currently has 28 of the 28 commissioned spaces filled, however we have added four additional spots. Grider is also available for general portrait commissions through the gallery).

Nicholas Grider is a Milwaukee native who completed his MFA at the California Institute of Arts (Cal Arts) in 2008. He also holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Grider’s most recent solo exhibition was “Sea and Space” in Los Angeles this year.

An opening reception for Men in Suits will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Gallery Night, January 16, 2009 at Portrait Society. A closing reception will also be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, to celebrate the culmination of Grider’s accumulated portrait wall project and to present the exhibition catalog.

A secondary body of work based on paintings of United States presidents that Grider photographed and then digitally obscured their faces will also be on view at Portrait Society. Similar to the artist’s Men in Suits series, this body of work challenges us to determine which famous person is in each portrait, using only the clues of clothing and posture to guide us.


Review, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mary Louise Schumacher

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