Nine Black Artists and Cultural Leaders on Seeing and Being Seen

Calida Rawles’s “Reflecting My Grace” (2019).Credit...Courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles/Seoul
“If you’re silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it,” wrote Zora Neale Hurston in her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Throughout this country’s history, black Americans have been reminded near daily that this remains true — both literally and more obliquely. Today, though, many black artists are actively resisting that idea, creating work that speaks directly to a black audience, a black gaze, in order to reform the often whitewashed realms in which they practice. We talked with nine of them — each a voice of this moment, as the nation reckons with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, and beyond — about making work that captures the richness and variety of black life. [More]
Amy Sherald’s “Precious Jewels by the Sea” (2019).Credit...© Amy Sherald. Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

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