Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, I've put together a list of fantastic contemporary photographers for you to check out. The images and perspectives of these photographers have contributed to the future of the art form and have helped strengthen the field of photography as a whole. I hope you enjoy taking some time to look at their impressive bodies of work.

I would also encourage you to subscribe to my blog at the bottom of this list to make sure not to miss any future posts.

My next installment will be about the relationship between art and politics, especially during our current administration and it will include a comprehensive guide on what we can all do to be heard and make a difference, especially artists. So, don't miss out!


Melissa Bunni Elian is a Haitian-American journalist using words, photos and video to tell multimedia stories.

Portrait by Melissa Bunni Elian

Portrait by Melissa Bunni Elian

Portrait by Melissa Bunni Elian, from  afropunk x ferguson

Portrait by Melissa Bunni Elian, from afropunk x ferguson

Latoya Ruby Frazier creates work addressing industrialism, rustbelt revitalization, environmental justice, healthcare inequity, family and communal history.

Latoya Ruby Frazier, from  The Notion of Family

Latoya Ruby Frazier, from The Notion of Family

Latoya Ruby Frazier, from  Pier 54: A Human Right to Passage

Latoya Ruby Frazier, from Pier 54: A Human Right to Passage

Hank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. 

Hank Willis Thomas,  Flying Geese

Hank Willis Thomas, Flying Geese

Hank Willis Thomas,  Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around

Hank Willis Thomas, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around

Ruddy Roye is a Brooklyn based documentary photographer specializing in editorial and environmental portraits and photo-journalism photography.

Ruddy Roye, from  The Common Treads Project   

Ruddy Roye, from The Common Treads Project  

Ruddy Roye, from  Dancehall: In the Wake of Daggering

Ruddy Roye, from Dancehall: In the Wake of Daggering

Khalik Allah is a street photographer and filmmaker whose work has been described as "street opera."

Khalik Allah, from  Black Mother

Khalik Allah, from Black Mother

Khalik Allah, from  Wu-Tang Clan

Khalik Allah, from Wu-Tang Clan

Tarji Smedley is a commercial, fashion, lifestyle photographer, and photojournalist.

Tarji Smedley

Tarji Smedley

Tarji Smedley

Tarji Smedley

Russell Frederick is a photographer whose global world view and keen understanding of the human condition informs his compelling photography.

Russell Frederick

Russell Frederick

Russell Frederick

Russell Frederick

Ivan Forde is a Guyanese born Harlem raised photographer with interests in new media. 

Portrait by Ivan Forde

Portrait by Ivan Forde

Ivan Forde,  The Fall of Man

Ivan Forde, The Fall of Man

Kwesi Abbensetts looks for beauty and something compelling through his photography to make you see yourself a different way. 

Kwesi Abbensetts

Kwesi Abbensetts

Kwesi Abbensetts

Kwesi Abbensetts

Lebohang Kganye is a photographer whose work often incorporates her interest in sculpture and performance of the archive and memory.

Lebohang Kganye,  Untitled 10

Lebohang Kganye, Untitled 10

Lebohang Kganye,  The Alarm

Lebohang Kganye, The Alarm

Omar Victor Diop looks at his photography as a means to capture the diversity of modern African societies and lifestyles.

Omar Victor Diop, from  Project Diaspora

Omar Victor Diop, from Project Diaspora

Omar Victor Diop, from  Liberty

Omar Victor Diop, from Liberty

ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE FOCUS: PERFECTION and SHE PHOTOGRAPHS at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA)

Hi, All.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal is presenting a retrospective on Robert Mapplethorpe's photography and other artistic works. Mapplethorpe was one of the most significant artists of his time. His work has been characterized as controvertial and polarizing. It was seen as particularly challenging when it first came out during the period of conflict between conservatives and reformers in the United States called the Culture Wars in the 1980s and 1990s. This retrospective shows an array of his subjects, including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, self-portraits, and still-life images of flowers. His highly stylized black and white photographs blurred the lines between life and art. Robert Mapplethorpe Focus: Perfection will be open for visitors until January 22nd.

"He was demonic but not evil, only as demonic as a small deity, mischievous but not without compassion. He was a ray where darkness fell."   - Patti Smith describing Robert Mapplethorpe

from  Robert Mapplethorpe Focus: Perfection  at the MMFA

from Robert Mapplethorpe Focus: Perfection at the MMFA

Robert Mapplethorpe,  Untitled (Terry),  Dye diffusion transfer print, 1974.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Untitled (Terry), Dye diffusion transfer print, 1974.

Robert Mapplethorpe,  Lisa Lyon,  Gelatin silver print, 1980.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Lyon, Gelatin silver print, 1980.

Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, a world women's bodybuilding champion, at a party in New York City in 1979. They collaborated as photographer and muse for six years following their encounter and created more than 200 photographs depicting Lyons in various guises, ranging from ingenue to dominatrix.

A selection of works from Robert Mapplethorpe's  X Portfolios,  1978.

A selection of works from Robert Mapplethorpe's X Portfolios, 1978.

Mapplethorpe thought of the X, Y, and Z Portfolios as his most important works. X in 1978 explored homosexuality and sado-masochism. Y in 1978 depicted flower still lifes. And, Z in 1981 was a collection of portraits of African-American men. The artist's obsession with formal perfection unified the three collections.


SHE PHOTOGRAPHS

Also, currently showing at the MMFA is and exhibition of thirty Canadian and American women photographers called SHE PHOTOGRAPHS. These photographs encompass a varied array of contemporary photographic styles and genres: Conceptual art, auteur photography, tableau form, intimate impressions, the reinvention of the documentary approach, etc. The pieces span the range from straight photography to abstract and covers subjects such as love, death, work, and the sublime. Styles, techniques, emotion, and meaning may differ, however the commonality of a woman's perspective and voice brings this show its collective artistic strength and impact. It will be on display until February 19.

Raymonde April,  Mais qui donc pourrait me faire mal?  from the series "Autoportraits avec textes" Gelatin silver print, 1979.

Raymonde April, Mais qui donc pourrait me faire mal? from the series "Autoportraits avec textes" Gelatin silver print, 1979.

From the  SHE PHOTOGRAPHS  exhibition at the MMFA

From the SHE PHOTOGRAPHS exhibition at the MMFA

Éliane Excoffier,  Kiev (VII),  Gelatin silver print, 2008.

Éliane Excoffier, Kiev (VII), Gelatin silver print, 2008.

Sorel Cohen, from  es blessures de l'expérience,  9 chromogenic prints and etched glass, 1995-1996.

Sorel Cohen, from es blessures de l'expérience, 9 chromogenic prints and etched glass, 1995-1996.

Alix Cléo Roubaud,  Si quelque chose noir  series, 7 gelatin silver prints, 1980.

Alix Cléo Roubaud, Si quelque chose noir series, 7 gelatin silver prints, 1980.

Maryse Goudreau,  Demonstration in Memory of the Wharves (2) , Ink-jet print, 2011.

Maryse Goudreau, Demonstration in Memory of the Wharves (2), Ink-jet print, 2011.

Laura Letinsky,  Untitled No. 48  from the series "I did not remember I had forgotten", Chromogenic print, 2002, print 2007.

Laura Letinsky, Untitled No. 48 from the series "I did not remember I had forgotten", Chromogenic print, 2002, print 2007.

Marnie Weber, From the series "Graveyard", Collage of magazine illustrations on a color photograph, 2001.

Marnie Weber, From the series "Graveyard", Collage of magazine illustrations on a color photograph, 2001.