Exhibit – Kris Graves: 'The Testament Project'
"The Testament Project," by photographer Kris Graves, is an exploration to recontexualize the contemporary black experience in America. All too often, black people are portrayed in the extreme – either as very rich or very poor and demonized or hyper-sexualized. Graves confronts these body politics in this series of portraits, while additionally challenging the perceptible lack of black representation within the fine arts canon.
In these illuminated portraits, control of the colored lighting is given to the subjects, in order to create a space that is participatory and empowered. By including subjects in the creation of the scene and the altering of color, Graves' photographs portray the sitter's individuality in addition to their blackness.
Graves is an artist working in New York. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Purchase College and has been exhibited globally, including the National Portrait Gallery, London; Aperture Gallery, New York; and Blue Sky Gallery, Portland. Graves has work in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Wedge Collection, Toronto; and Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania.
This exhibition is supported by the Dr. Joseph F. Gross Endowment, Lionel Rombach Endowment, and the University of Arizona School of Art.
Artist talk and opening reception will take place Sept. 7 from 5-6:30 p.m.