Burberry: Your book ‘The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion’ helped change the discourse of inclusivity in the art space – how did you coin the phrase ‘The New Black Vanguard’ and what does it mean to you?
You’re fiercely passionate about spotlighting Black creatives – what drew you to the fifteen artists featured at ‘The New Black Vanguard’ exhibition who are also featured in your book?
Through making noise about and space for Black creatives, you’ve already had a profound effect on the art world. What’s your underlying mission?
I have always been interested in engaging with artists that contemplate and confront issues of identity, race, and representation through an array of mediums, genres, industries, even, and artistic processes. It’s about recognising voices that for too long have been overlooked by dominant narratives in the industry and uplifting them in a way that is conducive to the artist and surrounding discourse. That, at its core, has been central in all of my work.
What do you look for in a piece of art?
What photographers are on your radar at the moment?
Tyler Mitchell, Deana Lawson, Awol Erizku, Renell Medrano and Liz Johnson Artur.
You’ve worked with a host of global changemakers, artists and creators in your career so far – who has inspired you the most and why?
What’s the future of contemporary photography?
The future of contemporary photography is young, and with some artists, it’s already here. It’s a future that is not concerned with personal gain but in collectively showcasing a new narrative that rejects all notions of ‘dominance’ put forth by whiteness. It affects and calls attention to the way blackness is portrayed and perceived by Black and non-black audiences. The future is unafraid; it’s insistent; and it demands to be seen.
You’ve long discussed the synergy between fashion and art – where and how do you think they intersect?
What’s the best advice you ever received as an up-and-coming young Black creative?
What is the best advice you can offer to up-and-coming young Black artists and creatives?
Put yourself and your work out there, that’s the biggest step. Don’t be afraid to push back against what is deemed ‘conventional’ or ‘universal.’ These no longer hold the weight they once were perceived to.