This past weekend, I visited New York’s Museum of Modern Art & fell in love in the photography gallery. I always fall in love in their portrait gallery so this is really no new news!
What made me fall during my most recent visit was Carrie Mae Weems’ “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried” presentation.
The presentation consisted of several familiar photos of Negros from US slavery & Africa’s past colored & overlaid with very powerful poetic words.
I stared intensely at these photos & all I could say was WOW, WOW, WOW!
The display seems almost out of place and by this, I mean that I could stand in a room all alone.
When I got home, I, of course I Googled her name & did her resume & was intrigued a) by her procurement of the photos from the Getty & b) her creative process in assembling one cohesive piece.
“I was trying to look at the history of photography and the way in which African Americans had been particularly depicted and inscribed through and in American photography. I used images that were preexisting, and my intervention was to re-inscribe them by making them all consistent, in terms of size and scale and format and adding the use of color so that, for instance, I used the color red to annunciate the image. I wanted to use oval or circular mats because I wanted to have that sense of looking through the photographic lens, which is a round surface…”
I was also quite amazed to learn that the photo presented above sold at Christie’s (auction house) for a cool $25,200. Wow!
You can see the entire display of “From Here I Saw What Happened And Cried” here.
I love discovering Black photo heroes!