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Making Waves

Rhonda Reinhart | August 20, 2018 | Feature Features National

Fresh off of the debut of a coastal-themed wallpaper collection with Mitchell Black, fine art photographer and Dallas native Gray Malin talks about what's next for his splashy brand.
Gray Malin with his Ocean Waves wallpaper (from $112 per roll,

Before his name was synonymous with whimsical photography of destinations across the globe, Gray Malin was a student at The Episcopal School of Dallas, just starting to get comfortable behind the camera. “In high school, I was shooting with black-and-white film, so it was very different [from] what I am shooting now,” Malin says. “However, the education I learned at ESD taught me so much, especially how to create beautiful compositions inside my frame.” Now based in Los Angeles, Malin has produced three photography books, including The New York Times best-selling Beaches ($40, Abrams Books), and counts celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Meghan Markle as fans. Much of his work—which depicts such fantastic images as balloon-covered llamas on a Bolivian salt flat, umbrella-studded beaches on the Italian Riviera and snowy pine trees in Aspen—has been translated onto trays, candles, coasters, iPhone cases and even Sperry boat shoes. His latest collaboration, with the Chicago-based home decor brand Mitchell Black, turns four of his signature aerial images into cheery wallcoverings. The sea-themed patterns—Ocean Waves, The Sunbathers, Pinstripe Umbrellas and Riviera Stripe—inspire wanderlust while bringing a little bit of the beach indoors. “The collection is exciting,” says Malin, “as it combines my core work as a fine art photographer with my passion for interior design.” Next up for the brand: games. “Specifically, we are releasing puzzles based off of my photography, as well as playing cards inspired by my series Gray Malin at the Parker,” he says. “Last but not least, we’re releasing a new holiday ornament, also inspired by the Parker series. They’ll all be arriving just in time for the holidays.” Speaking of holidays, whenever Malin gets a break from work, you might find him back in Dallas, where his parents and some close friends still live. His hometown must-have? “I love heading to Mi Cocina for the queso and a Mambo Taxi.” Spoken like a true Dallas native.


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