Grant Czuj

I was born in 1987 in Detroit, Michigan. My father, a millwright for Chrysler for over 40 years, has come from a rich family history of Polish-American, Detroit auto workers. A history where food, shelter, and clothing had always been provided by the manufacturing of vehicles, and hours spent on a factory floor. My mother, a social worker, was born in St. Louis and has kept an office in Dearborn, Michigan all of my life. She has always kept my eyes open to the understanding of suffering and happiness within people and communities. My older sister and I had tried to keep ourselves somewhere in the middle. At 29, I had the cumulative experience of nine and a half years of incarceration and other multiple years of court ordered reform programing. More than eight years of this time had been spent in a state prison.

Through consistent inspiration of cultural and sub-cultural imagery, I enjoy the curation of language that happens as images are used by American sub-cultures to explain themselves. These images are most times sampled, and in other times pirated from other uses, creating a hybrid vernacular. In my current research, I try and focus on the imagery surrounding the three most tantamount experiences concerning incarceration; conviction, incarceration, and release. However, I cannot speak for everyone in these matters. Incarceration itself being an issue that involves those bringing in many differing backgrounds en-masse. I make an effort to speak and create from experience. 

I create work that brings together curated imagery to visually define the history, lore, tropes, public ideas, and contemporary issues concerning the prison industrial complex. My works may take on many differing forms, including but not limited to painting, printmaking and sculpture. The use of craft based, and domestic materials are also important while looking through a macro lens of the situation of incarceration where the structure of a home and that of a living space come up time and again and in multiple forms. 

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