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Nigel Grimmer

Nigel Grimmer is a multimedia artist currently working with sculpture, photography and text. His diverse art practice is united by ongoing research exploring the relationship between images created for public or personal consumption, focusing on the language of the family album.

Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Art Drag Album

Art Drag Album (Nigel as Tina) / Art Drag Album (Nigel as Miss Wong) / Art Drag Album (Nigel as Nina)

“It’s the sort of art you might see if you mistakenly went back to a serial killer’s house after a nightclub….” –  Grace Dent, TV Times

I will not disclose the name of the town in which I grew up, however, I will admit that one summer the local high school had an adult education class entitled: “Making the Most of Your Road Kill.” Topics within the seminar included; “Hot to tell if the Meat is Fresh” and “the Secret of the Perfect ‘Possum Patty’.” But here, here! There are some major perks to “catching” road kill.

Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Roadkill Family AlbumEric, Big Bend, Texas, 2010
Walkup Spacer Line
Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Roadkill Family Album
Jayne, Hackney, 2007 / Jo, Hull, 2000

First of all, you can call yourself the ultimate go-green enthusiast, wasting no food or spare parts. Secondly, the emat is free! There are no government issued taxes or fees for collecting roadkill. Finally, wild game is said to be very high in vitamins, drug-free, and the meat is lean with little saturated fats. Curb-side health-kick anyone? 

Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Roadkill Family AlbumNigel, Lightening Fields, New Mexico, 2011

Subterfuge aside, Nigel Grimmer is also a roadkill enthusiast. Sorta. The series, Roadkill Family Album, began in 2000 to highlight the construed nature of a family portrait. Following with the iconic portrait image, each photograph in the series depicts a member of Grimmer’s family, or a close friend, lying, apparently dead, by the side of a road, wearing the mask of an animal.  The photographs have been taken on many holidays with friends and family. Locations include asphalt and lawns in America, France, Japan, Ireland and throughout England.

Nigel Grimer at The Walkup

Walkup Spacer Line

When I pass a dead animal on the side of the road, a few feeling course through my veins–namely: revulsion, sadness and curiosity. Never do I ever think of the animal as part of a family, a larger picture. Grimmer’s images force one to anthropomorphize nature and to give animals personal identities.

Nigel Grimmer featured by The Walkup, Roadkill Family AlbumDebbie, Coney Island, New York, 2002

Playing on the photographer’s want to show the audience the meticulous construction of a portrait, roadkill must have interacted with a force or invention of man at one point (e.g. a deer hit by a truck, a squirrel sidelined by a sedan, a bird flying into a sliding glass door). Through it’s not so pretty to think about, ultimately roadkill falls on, ahem, the road, another construction of man. Grimmer’s visual, alternate realities lead me to this realization and I find myself feeling uncomfortably responsible for the death of every family member in the album.

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Keren Veisblatt Toledano is a User Experience Designer at Berya LLC. In her spare time she can be found soaking in Epsom salts, admiring copper pots, reading dystopian science fiction or sneaking a slice of lemon into her drinks. Her motto is, “A morning without coffee is sleep.” She lives in Philly with her cat, Cagney, partner, Michael, and son, Josiah.