Black Artist Fund x Fotografiska New York Tracking Down Intimacy
Black Artist Fund x Fotografiska New York
Tracking Down IntimacyFeb 17 - May 2, 2021
Fotografiska New York and the Black Artist Fund (BAF) have partnered to showcase the talent of emerging Black artists and to support BAF’s efforts broadening opportunities for Black creators.
To kick off the partnership, Fotografiska New York and BAF present Tracking Down Intimacy, an installation featuring select images from three 2020 BAF grantees, photographers Chanell Stone, Edward Cushenberry, and Kendall Bessent. The photographers were selected by Fotografiska New York and BAF Founder Claudia Eng to participate in the installation based on the quality and impact of the work. Through the lenses of Stone, Cushenberry, and Bessent, the installation explores loss, closeness, tenderness, and power during a time when intimacy is on hold for many.
Nadine & Sasha © Kendall Bessent, 2020
Chanell Stone’s series Natura Negra, produced in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Oakland, explores the re-naturing of the Black body to the American landscape. Chanell’s black and white self-portraits reveal her own longing for the lush greenery and nature that would have surrounded her ancestors, who relocated to the West Coast during the Great Migration.
Edward Cushenberry’s While Nothing Lasts incorporates fluorescent lights and skewed angles throughout the series. Cushenberry lays bare the joy and sorrow of everyday life by turning his camera on his friends and loved ones, rendering their intimacies and fragility in 35mm. Cushenberry mixes intimate portraits with observed photographs.
Kendall Bessent’s photography explores the complexities of Blackness, honoring the luminosity of each one of his subjects as they present themselves. Floral elements, luscious backdrops, and carefully selected architectural elements enhance the staring human figure and give the viewer a sense of temperature, color, and scent. Bessent highlights the beauty, strength, and joy of the Black experience, seeking to instill self-love and confidence in those he photographs, while capturing the unique expressions of their identities.
Natura Negra: Potted Earth © Chanell Stone, 2019
“Fotografiska New York believes, as strongly as we do, that the amount of Black talent is not commensurate with their representation within museums and galleries. As corporations and institutions, our responsibility is not only to recognize this discrepancy, but also to actively course correct. For the Black Artist Fund, ‘Tracking Down Intimacy’ is an example of just that. This exhibition is an opportunity for art about intimacy—made by Black artists with Black subjects—to live and communicate within the museum context.”
– Claudia Eng and Kareem Stanley, Co-Founders and Directors of the Black Artist Fund.
Founded as a fundraising initiative in 2020, BAF is a nonprofit organization giving money directly to Black artists to combat systemic inequity in art. Through the ongoing partnership, Fotografiska New York and BAF will continue to support the talents of BAF grantees.
Learn how to support BAF’s mission here.
I Cherish My Sleep © Edward Cushenberry, 2017