‘The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion’ at the African Diaspora Museum

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“The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion”, currently on view at the African Diaspora Museum, is a stunning celebration of black beauty in the worlds of fashion and publishing that also asks us to consider who set the standards of beauty in society.

The exhibition, originally curated by Antwaun Sargent and curated by Aperture, New York, features photos from 15 contemporary fashion photographers who challenge industry norms and push for expanded representation in front of and behind the camera. Spanning three floors, the show features more than 100 works by photographers, including Campbell Addy, Micaiah Carter, Quil Lemons, Namsa Leuba, Daniel Obasi, Adrienne Raquel, Dana Scruggs and Tyler Mitchell, the first black photographer to shoot a cover. for American Vogue (at Beyoncé’s request, no less.)

Among the most powerful images were works from Mitchell’s “New Royals” and “Hijab Couture” series; Addy’s photos with stylist Ib Karara, defying gender expectations; and Scruggs’ photo titled “Fire on the Beach,” in which the model’s billowing red dress is blown away and takes on the appearance of a dancing flame.

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