Hawkes’ Bay born, self-taught artist, Grant Beran has been working with photography since he was thirteen and began exhibiting in 1985, aged 17. Drawing equally from aspects of pop culture, such as music and fashion, as from art-historical and contemporary influences, Beran has exhibited widely in solo and group presentations throughout the New Zealand and abroad, including Japan, London, Paris, New York, Sydney and Melbourne and China.
From the beginning he has had an experimental approach to photography, questioning what else a photograph can do, exhibiting works in which he has drawn directly onto both the photographic negative and light sensitive photography paper using pastels, photochemicals and inks, hanging prints directly onto gallery walls, all in an attempt to extend the expressive possibilities of the medium.
In 2010, Beran was invited to feature his work in Credo and Quest, a selective survey of Religion and Spirituality in New Zealand featuring work by Colin McCahon, Philip Clairmont, Ralph Hotere, Tony Fomison and Jeffrey Harris. In 2017, he was invited to be in an exhibition in Melbourne which looked at contemporary photographers using photography in unconventional ways. Beran’s photographic works are in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the James Wallace collection in Auckland, as well as private collections in New Zealand and overseas.
Growing up in Hawkes’ Bay remains an influence on Beran’s work, stating “my use of negative space, love of strong contrasts and vibrant colours have their roots in long, hot summers spent at Ocean Beach where my family rented a bach every year. The memory of the way the hills, out there, would dry to an almost white and contrast with the deep, deep blue of the Hawkes’ Bay sky still inspires me.”