I have always used photography as a basis for my work, whether I am painting from a photograph, using photographic fragments as collage material, or interacting with the selfie as a vehicle for self-portraiture. In my current body of work, I am using the actual photograph as the basis for my exploration of personal narrative and the role of memory and imagination, particularly as it relates to family, loss, and place.

In this intimate exploration, I can investigate and comprehend the significance of the personal as it relates to a broader, more inclusive context. Through manipulation of the original image and often with the addition of text, I explore what a photograph does and how it impacts memory, time, and the psychology of family dynamics. The work translates as whimsical yet somber, joyous yet mournful, and comedic yet dramatic, offering the viewer an opportunity to reflect on their own personal narrative.


Rima Grad makes work that deals with personal narrative, through painting, collage, and altered vernacular photography. She was born in New York City and received her BFA with a concentration in Etching in 1975 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Rima received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2017. The forty-year gap was spent working in Graphic Design, raising a family, and acting as a caregiver. And always making art. Rima lives in Manhattan and has a studio in Bushwick. She has participated in solo, group, and juried exhibitions throughout New York City, Westchester County, and Connecticut. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Journal News, and other local and regional publications and is included in many private and corporate collections. She is a member of New York Artist’s Equity and The Crit Lab.