Dawoud Bey, ‘The Birmingham Project: Braxton McKinney and Lavon Thomas’, 2012, Rena Bransten Gallery


About Dawoud Bey

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 1969 exhibition "Harlem on My Mind," a Queens-raised 16-year-old with Harlem roots was inspired to become an artist. By 1979, Dawoud Bey, who also attributes photographers like Richard Avedon, Walker Evans, and Irving Penn as influences, had produced his first one-man show, "Harlem, USA," that documented diverse residents of the neighborhood in small black-and-white prints. Although different from his later large-scale, color work in the studio, these early prints showed Bey's sensitive approach and ability to communicate an unbridled presence in his subjects. In 2007, Bey created school portrait-style photographs of high school students across the country, followed a series depicting unacquainted members of the same community side-by-side, such as a Buddhist monk and a doctoral student, who he approached in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.

American, b. 1953, New York, New York

Group Shows on Artsy

Witness, MCA Chicago, Chicago
The Pritzker Center for Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco
These American Lives, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
Whitney Biennial 2014, Whitney Biennial 2014