Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hair as Art :: Nakeya Brown's 'Black Womanhood' Photo Exhibit

"My work is the exploration of blackness and womanhood through the politics of hair.  I tend to use portraiture and still life work to really try and create a space where black female identity really shines through in the images"- Nakeya Brown.   

Hair is one of my deep obsessions and has been since childhood.  One could fairly say it is neck and neck with my music addiction.   I was hooked instantly to Nakeya Brown's artwork- based around African American hair.  She recently did an interview with Saint Heron:: 

How did you come to photography as your medium and are there others that you use?
I took a photo class in high school and it was an Intro to Photography class. I just sort of stuck with it. After graduating from high school, my mom bought me a camera and I ended up spending the summer in Brooklyn. My senses were on overdrive because there was so much going on. I was constantly photographing my environments and I started photographing friends. I got a lot of compliments. People were saying that I had a great eye, so I stuck with it. I went through art school and that really injected importance of concept within the work. I’ve been doing it ever since. My best way of communicating how I feel and the issues that I’m concerned with.

Through your work, what story do you want to tell and what do you want viewers to walk away with?
I want people to walk away with an understanding that hair is a very powerful signifier and a very powerful form of identity. I think it’s something that you have to be very careful of when talking about and describing, but conversations need to be had about hair because there is still a lot of different opinions about it. It’s still a very divisive concept to take on. Though it all, if i can unite women of color and really build on the shared sisterhood and womanhood that is really constructed through hair, I feel that would be a successful thing for my audience to take away from my work. Knowing that through hair, even thought its divisive, it’s something we can use to talk about and heal and really grow together and come together to communicate and share stories.

Read the full interview here 

Currently residing here in Washington, D.C., Artist Nakeya Brown was born in Santa Maria, California in 1988.  Over the years, her work has been presented at the McKenna Museum of African American Art, Vivid Solutions Gallery etc. and reviewed by Afro-Diasporan Art Talks, The Washington City Paper, ForHarriet etc.  With a current Bachelors degree in Visual Arts /Journalism/Media Studies from Rutgers University, Brown is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at George Washington University.  Be sure check out her tumblr of dopeness @ NakeyaB.

Related Post - Photos :: 'Paid in Full' Art Exhibit .. @ Dame Dash's Poppington Gallery

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