Bryan David Griffith’s work spans photography, painting, sculpture, and installation, often using simple materials and equipment in unexpected ways. His work is held in public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; University of Michigan Museum of Art; Center for Creative Photography; and Fort Wayne Museum of Art. He has exhibited extensively throughout the U.S., with recent and upcoming solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, and Coconino Center for the Arts. Publications including Slate, Black & White, Arizona Highways, Photo District News, and Diffusion have featured his work.
Bryan’s unconventional career began when he stumbled upon an abandoned, dog-eared copy of Henry Horenstein’s Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual and built a makeshift darkroom while studying engineering at the University of Michigan. After graduation he left engineering for big business, building a successful career with an international management consulting firm. However, Bryan found his job unfulfilling and was troubled by the environmental impact of his clients. He ultimately resigned to follow his conscience. In order to pursue photography full-time, he adopted a simple nomadic life, camping out and saving every dime for film and gas. This experience led to a personal connection with America’s public lands, reflected in his first body of work, Listen to the Wild. When Bryan’s van broke down in Flagstaff, Arizona, he fell in love with the mountain town—and then his wife—and has called it home ever since.
His ongoing body of work In a Big World Wandering was born on the road with his wife and muse, craftsperson Tasha Miller Griffith. More than a travelogue, Bryan mines his personal experience to create narrative fragments about the human condition that seem recalled or imagined. He uses vintage and homemade film equipment to make simple images that invite quiet contemplation.
In 2014, after a wildfire threatened his home and studio, Bryan received a grant to study wildfire in the West and develop new work for the traveling small group exhibition Fires of Change, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. This led to explorations in painting, sculpture, and installation using the primal mediums of wood and fire itself. Bryan's work for the project earned the Flagstaff Arts Council's 2016 Excellence in Visual Arts Award, Flagstaff's most prestigious honor for an arts achievement, along with a 2016 Contemporary Forum Artist Grant from the Phoenix Art Museum.
These awards helped Bryan further develop his latest body of work, Rethinking Fire, which debuted as a solo exhibition at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in 2017.