About Mahdi Gransberry

Mahdi Gransberry, also known by the pseudonym FreakishNerd, is a photographer, filmmaker, writer, and creative mind from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through a variety of mediums, Gransberry is able to both explore and address real-world themes, such as vulnerability, forms in nature, and the complexity of Black & Brown identity (in the United States and globally).

He draws much of his inspiration from great artists of the past, such as Gordon Parks, and also present-day geniuses, like Donald Glover, Hiro Murai, and Issa Rae. 

Gransberry also uses his work to celebrate his hometown and the community of friends he considers family. Much of his musings on Milwaukee can be found in the local magazine CopyWrite, a catalogue of “all things urban” in the thriving Midwestern city. 

Gransberry’s goal as an artist is to get people to slow down from their busy, day-to-day lives and connect on a deeper, more intimate level. He aspires to have his work evoke emotion, as well as create opportunities for communication, personal reflection, and social commentary. 

Most importantly, Gransberry hopes that he can contribute to the normalizing of Black and Brown bodies in photography, film, and television. With his work, he intends to elevate marginalized communities of people, and ultimately, hopes to use his platform to uplift future nerds to be themselves unapologetically.