The Detroit Institute of Art is hosting a traveling exhibition highlighting emerging contemporary black photographers

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Dana Serges, "Neador, High, Death Valley, California," 2018. - Courtesy of Detroit Institute of Art

  • Courtesy of Detroit Institute of Art
  • Dana Serges, Neaodor, Elevated, Death Valley, Calif., 2018.

When US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles graced the cover Vogue magazine In August 2020, people were loudly talking about hating her. Not because of Biles, but because the white, four-time gold-medalist photographer was photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Critics criticized the lighting as unflattering against Biles’ skin tone, which appeared pale and muted, with one reddit The user described the circulated image as looking like Biles had been “embalmed”.

The importance of recruiting black photographers to capture black subjects is deeper than the light. It’s about how color creators see the world, not just visually, but emotionally.

Next month, the Detroit Institute of Art will host a traveling exhibition titled The new black avant-garde: photography between art and fashionAnd It will highlight emerging contemporary black photographers and a selection of their color photographs, concept photos and fashion editorials, some of which have previously been published or featured in advertising campaigns, museums and magazines.

The exhibition, which opens December 17 and runs through April 17, will display more than 100 photographs by 15 photographers aligned with The New Black Vanguard, a global movement of emerging artists. The exhibition was moderated by New York writer and critic Antoine Sargent, and in a press release, it will “blur traditional lines between art and fashion and where both are on display” as well as “expanding the roles of the black body and black lives as a collective issue theme.”

There will be some locally known names among these distinguished photographers, as they are featured in an additional extension of the gallery called New Gases which will feature the work of Detroit-area artists such as Michira Davis, Justin Millhouse, Christian Carpenter, Ray Rogers, Corey Turner and Brian White.

In addition, DIA’s Black is Beautiful: Photographed by Kwame Brathwaite – The first major exhibition dedicated to the Brathwaite that captured the Black cultural experience in the 1960s – still on display until January 16th.

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