50 Photographs Black and White

11" x 14"
50 Photographs

50 Photographs by Jessica Lange, introduction by Patti Smith (Brooklyn: powerHouse Books, 2008)

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, ed. by Eugenie Tsai with an essay by Connie H. Choy, plate commentaries by Lee Ambrozy, Elizabeth Armstrong, Richard Aste, Naomi Beckwith, Kirsten Pai Buick, Beth Citron, Sarah Cochran, Jeffrey Deitch, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Kevin D. Dumouchelle, Quincy Flowers, David J. Getsy, Lewis R. Gordon, Rujecko Hockley, Christine Y. Kim, Venus Lau, Thomas J. Lax, Catharina Manchanda, Kobena Mercer, Valerie J. Mercer, Tumelo Mosaka, Steven Nelson, Molly Nesbit, Tavia Nyong'o, Annie Paul, Megha Ralapati, John B. Ravenal, Joanna Montoya Robotham, Franklin Simans, Claire Tancons, Toure, Murtaza Vali, Nicola Vassell, Rebecca Walker, Deborah Willis (Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum, 2015)

Kehinde Wiley, The World Stage: Israel, essays by Claudia J. Nahson, Ruth Eglash, Shalva Weil, PhD (Culver City, CA: Roberts & Tilton, 2012)

The Peple of Kau, photographs, text and layout by Leni Riefenstahl, trans. by J. Maxwell Brownjohn (NY: Harper & Row, 1976)

Black and White

"On a recent trip to Ethiopia Lange took a photograph of the villagers uniting for the opening ceremony of their first well. The sky bleeds into whit contrasting with the bright blackness of the communal gathering. "There is something about the light in Africa, she says. "Then suddenly smiles. "I guess there is something about the light." (viii)

"A big, black Mercedez-Benz of a book.... Ideology aside, the pictures are hard to resist, combining all the voyeuristic pleasures of National Geographic-style anthropology with an unequivocal appreciation of the innate grace and symmetry of the human form... Riefenstahl`s photographs preserve a mythic vision of this Eden before the fall, a romantic lost world, captured in images as powerfully seductive as the artist herself." V Magazine "Wiley’s signature portraits of everyday men and women riff on specific paintings by Old Masters, replacing the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives."

two characters with cut strips of colorful paper between them
50 Photographs Black and White—November 23, 2016--original blog post

Jessica Lange's astonishing book of photographs stands tall on any shelf, and the pictures are vast in black and white. Some spread across two pages.

Others face a huge field of blank.

Leni Riefenstahl got her start making films in Nazi Germany, most famously Triumph of the Will. Later—after—she took a still camera to Africa and brought native grace to her white pages. 

Kehinde Wiley begins with the art one might find in books and would inevitably find in museums, and then he insinuates his blackness.

There is alignment in this juxtaposition.

And maybe some oneness.

That's enough.