Poems and Portraits: Revealing and Reclaiming Blackness in Western Art

The cover of Robin Coste Lewis’ book, Voyage of the Sable Venus features a Harlem Renaissance era photo of a slim black woman standing on a sidewalk deep in thought. With one hand resting on her hip and the other cradling her chin, the woman is pondering what lies behind the glass window in front … Continue reading Poems and Portraits: Revealing and Reclaiming Blackness in Western Art

Artist of the Day Challenge (26): Henry Taylor

Upon graduating from Cal Arts in the mid 90’s, Los Angeles artist Henry Taylor has cultivated a career as a portrait artist who uses his medium to connect with his subjects. That familiarity shows through in his work as most of his portraits come from impromptu encounters with the people who find themselves in his orbit: family, friends andhomeless people in … Continue reading Artist of the Day Challenge (26): Henry Taylor

Artist a Day Challenge (15): James Baldwin

James Baldwin, 1945.  Portrait by Richard Avedon. Photo Credit, National Portrait Gallery Yesterday’s post about Dawoud Bey took a close look at his 2013 Birmingham Project, a photographic examination of church bombings and deaths that took place in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963. Bey’s work was an attempt to reconcile the present through an examination … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (15): James Baldwin

Artist a Day Challenge (11): Roy DeCarava

Photography has always been used as a powerful tool for social change.  From Frederick Douglass’ early adoption of photography a medium for countering negative images, to Sojourner Truth’s use of Cartes de Visites, W.E.B DuBois’ curated images at the Paris Exhibition of 1900, to James Van Der Zee’s documenting of the black middle class during the Harlem … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (11): Roy DeCarava