Text by Richard Baird.
“I often think about what white fun looks like and this notion that Black people can’t have the same. Growing up with Tumblr I would often come across images of sensual, young, attractive white models running around being free and having so much fun – the kind of stuff Larry Clark and Ryan McGinley would make. I seldom saw the same for Black people in images – or at least in the photography I knew. My work comes from a place of wanting to push back against this lack. I feel an urgency to create a body of images where Black people are visualized as free, expressive, effortless, and sensitive.
I aim to visualize what a Black utopia looks like or could look like. People say utopia is never achievable but I love photography’s possibility of allowing me to dream and make that dream become very real.
In my work I use the tools of documentary reportage, portraiture, fashion photography, art photography, and filmmaking. I view fashion as a space and opportunity to have clothes enhance my message about the Black body. I make very little distinction between my commissioned and my personal works, using them both as an opportunity to create this utopian universe – whether that’s photographing Beyoncé, Spike Lee, skaters in Cuba, or my very close friends.
Documented and real, or fictitious and staged, my images are characterized by an interest in purity and intimacy. In them, models recline, embrace each other closely and peer into the lens, leaving evidence of a public display of affirmation in Blackness and a unifying visual text of hope. I also occasionally weave symbols into my portraits such as water guns and plastic resin chains – symbols of repression as a subtle reminder of the ways in which the Black body is still politicized, and sometimes unable to move through the real world as freely as I would like.
I Can Make You Feel Good is simply a declaration. And one that I feel is gut punching in its optimism. It feels important at a time like this to declare such a thing.” — Tyler Mitchell
Text by Richard Baird.
Inside Lottozero was an exhibition of international artists that covered a wide-range of artistic disciplines. It was conceived by Arianna and Tessa Moroder and curated by Alessandra Tempesti. The exhibition took place at Lottozero / textile laboratories in Toscana, Italy and ran until November 20th, 2016. Under the concept of “Non-stop Fruition”, the exhibition opened with a 12 hour overnight event in which people were invited to stay and immerse themselves and connect more deeply with the artwork. This included
The exhibition catalogue is a hardback 184 page book, edited by Tessa and Arianna Moroder, curated by Alessandra Tempesti and designed by Studio Mut. It features the 13 exhibiting artists, brings to light how wide-ranging textile art and research can be and is a tri-lingual publication that threads together English, Italian and German. These languages are graphically interwoven, with each language delineated by its orientation on the page.
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Albert Oehlen is a German contemporary artist. Working with canvas, he brings together a bricolage of figurative, collaged, abstract and computer-generated elements, with a particular focus on process and self-imposed parameters such as limited colour palettes. His work, as described by the Serpentine Galleries, currently running a Oehlen solo exhibition till February 2020, engages with the history of painting through Expressionist brushwork, Surrealist gestures and deliberate amateurism, and pushes the essential components of colour, gesture, motion and time in fresh new directions. This spirit of bold gestures, layers and new approaches is captured within a slender, unbound artist book designed by London-based Zak Group. This functions as an extension of the exhibition.