Ken Grimes


produces black and white paintings that convey his interest in paranormal alien communication, extraterrestrial intelligence, UFO phenomena, and the world of coincidences. He is a visionary artist whose worldview extends far beyond this planet and solar system into other systems and galaxies. The radio telescope’s potentialto explore space continues to fascinate Grimes, who is an avid reader of books on the subject. His technique is unusual in that instead of painting white images and textover a black ground, he draws outlined forms and text and then paints black around the penciled outlines, leaving the white areas unpainted. He adds texts to his paintings in the form of messages that are embellished with symbols representing crop circles, flying saucers, and alien figures.Born in New York City in 1947, Grimes moved with his family to Westchester, Florida, then back to New York, and, finally, when Grimes was six years old thefamily settled in Cheshire, Connecticut. He graduated from Cheshire High School, and continued his studies at Nasson College in Springvale, Maine. Although he is notcertain of what triggered his interest in art, Grimes began to paint in 1984, during a period when he was a volunteer in a program for the chronically ill under theauspices of Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticutt. His first artistic efforts were landscapes and pictures of buildings rendered in color. He took a summer studio art class at
Throw the Switch; the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence where he executed his first still-lifes using traditional forms and color. Grimes was fascinated by the writings and ideasof academic and science writer Carl Sagan and Robert K.G.Temple book’s
Sirius Mystery: New Scientific Evidence for Alien Contact 5,000 Years Ago;
the black and white photographs of the latter may have influenced Grimes to choose a monochrome graphic palette for his paintings.Grimes has completed about 350 paintings. He uses acrylics to paint on canvas, Masonite, or paper, and paints one to three hours every day. A one-personexhibition of Grimes’ paintings was held in Waterloo, Canada, in 1995.
See also

Visionary Art
“Grimes, Ken: Live from Outer Space.”
vol. 1, no. 2:1–3.Longhauser, Elsa, and Harald Szeemann.
Self-Taught Artists of the Twentieth Century: An American Anthology.
San Francisco, 1998.Maresca, Frank, and Roger Ricco.
merican Self-Taught: Paintings and Drawings by Outsider Artists.
New York, 1993.