Family Portraits (NSFW)

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Although she is not related to them by blood—in fact, they are nearly all strangers—the pictures are remarkably intimate. Deana Lawson composes almost every element, often sketching scenes out on paper before working with the camera. Reflecting Western and African portraiture conventions, the works examine “the body’s ability to channel personal and social histories, drawing on the various formal and informal languages of the medium and its archival capabilities,” the artist says. The result is an alphabet of body compositions demonstrating humans’ seemingly limitless variety. The size of these photographs ensures that although they are intimate, they are also confrontational; viewers are invited into the world they depict, but strictly as spectators. Continue reading

Women, Saints and Goddesses (NSFW)

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Barron Claiborne started taking pictures at age ten after receiving a camera from his mother, at which point he decided, “God, maybe I’ll just do photography, then I won’t have to do anything else.” Claiborne went on to develop a true penchant for the craft, and created a unique style, working primarily in large format and experimenting with 8×10 Polaroid film in order to lend a bronzed, overly textured quality to his photographs.
Claiborne’s photographic influences are often derived from his Southern and African ancestry, and he uses his work as a canvas for representing the tales and oral traditions at the roots of his heritage. For the past 3 years, Claiborne has focused on the bodies of women, saints, and goddesses. His work has appeared in a number of publications including Newsweek, New York Times Magazine,Rolling Stone, and Interview.
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