Art & Culture




More filters

  • Vision & Justice: Aperture 223 (Aperture Magazine)
    Sold out

    Guest-edited by Sarah Elizabeth
    Lewis, Vision & Justice addresses
    the role of photography in the
    African American experience.

    As the United States navigates a political moment defined by the close of the Obama era and the rise of #BlackLivesMatter activism, Aperture magazine releases “Vision & Justice,” a special issue guest edited by Sarah Lewis, the distinguished author and art historian, addressing the role of photography in the African American experience.

    “Vision & Justice” includes a wide span of photographic projects by such luminaries as Lyle Ashton Harris, Annie Leibovitz, Sally Mann, Jamel Shabazz, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems and Deborah Willis, as well as the brilliant voices of an emerging generation―Devin Allen, Awol Erizku, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Deana Lawson and Hank Willis Thomas, among many others. These portfolios are complemented by essays from some of the most influential voices in American culture including contributions by celebrated writers, historians, and artists such as Vince Aletti, Teju Cole, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Margo Jefferson, Wynton Marsalis and Claudia Rankine.

    "Vision & Justice” features two covers. This issue comes with an image by Awol Erizku, Untitled (Forces of Nature #1), 2014.

  • Tarell Alvin McCraney: Theater, Performance, and Collaboration
    Sold out

    This is the first book to dedicate scholarly attention to the work of Tarell Alvin McCraney, one of the most significant writers and theater-makers of the twenty-first century. Featuring essays, interviews, and commentaries by scholars and artists who span generations, geographies, and areas of interest, the volume examines McCraney’s theatrical imagination, his singular writerly voice, his incisive cultural critiques, his stylistic and formal creativity, and his distinct personal and professional trajectories.
    Contributors consider McCraney’s innovations as a playwright, adapter, director, performer, teacher, and collaborator, bringing fresh and diverse perspectives to their observations and analyses. In so doing, they expand and enrich the conversations on his much-celebrated and deeply resonant body of work, which includes the plays Choir Boy, Head of Passes, Ms. Blakk for President, The Breach, Wig Out!, and the critically acclaimed trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays: In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size, and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet, as well as the Oscar Award–winning film Moonlight, which was based on his play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.

  • Feelin: Creative Practice, Pleasure, and Black Feminist Thought
    Sold out

    How creativity makes its way through feeling—and what we can know and feel through the artistic work of Black women
    Feeling is not feelin. As the poet, artist, and scholar Bettina Judd argues, feelin, in African American Vernacular English, is how Black women artists approach and produce knowledge as sensation: internal and complex, entangled with pleasure, pain, anger, and joy, and manifesting artistic production itself as the meaning of the work. Through interviews, close readings, and archival research, Judd draws on the fields of affect studies and Black studies to analyze the creative processes and contributions of Black women—from poet Lucille Clifton and musician Avery*Sunshine to visual artists Betye Saar, Joyce J. Scott, and Deana Lawson.
    Feelin: Creative Practice, Pleasure, and Black Feminist Thought makes a bold and vital intervention in critical theory’s trend toward disembodying feeling as knowledge. Instead, Judd revitalizes current debates in Black studies about the concept of the human and about Black life by considering how discourses on emotion as they are explored by Black women artists offer alternatives to the concept of the human. Judd expands the notions of Black women’s pleasure politics in Black feminist studies that include the erotic, the sexual, the painful, the joyful, the shameful, and the sensations and emotions that yet have no name. In its richly multidisciplinary approach, Feelin calls for the development of research methods that acknowledge creative and emotionally rigorous work as productive by incorporating visual art, narrative, and poetry.

  • Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage

    An engaging introduction to contemporary Black American collage brings together art by fifty artists that reflects the breadth and complexity of Black identity
    “A lavish catalog . . . provides not just beautiful reproductions of the artworks but also commentary on the way these artists, and others, have used collage to address the full range of Black experience.”—Margaret Renkl, New York Times
    Building on a technique that has roots in European and American traditions, Black artists have turned to collage as a way to convey how the intersecting facets of their lives combine to make whole individuals. Artists have assembled pieces of paper, fabrics, and other, often salvaged, materials to create unified compositions that express the endless possibilities of Black-constructed narratives despite the fragmentation of our times.
    As artist Deborah Roberts asserts, “With collage, I can create a more expansive and inclusive view of the Black cultural experience.”
    More than 50 artists are represented in the book’s 140 color images, with some creating original artworks for this project. Featured artists include such well-known figures as Mark Bradford, Lauren Halsey, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Howardena Pindell, Tschabalala Self, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, and Kara Walker. In addition to scholarly essays, the publication contains short biographies of each artist written by Fisk University students.
    Distributed for the Frist Art Museum
    Exhibition Schedule:
    Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN
    (September 15–December 31, 2023)
    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
    (February 18–May 12, 2024)
    The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
    (July 6–September 22, 2024)

  • Black Caesars and Foxy Cleopatras: A History of Blaxploitation Cinema

    by Odie Henderson

    Sold out

    A definitive account of Blaxploitation cinema—the freewheeling, often shameless, and wildly influential genre—from a distinctive voice in film history and criticism

    In 1971, two films grabbed the movie business, shook it up, and launched a genre that would help define the decade. Melvin Van Peebles’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, an independently produced film about a male sex worker who beats up cops and gets away, and Gordon Parks’s Shaft, a studio-financed film with a killer soundtrack, were huge hits, making millions of dollars. Sweetback upended cultural expectations by having its Black rebel win in the end, and Shaft saved MGM from bankruptcy. Not for the last time did Hollywood discover that Black people went to movies too. The Blaxploitation era was born.

    Written by film critic Odie Henderson, Black Caesars and Foxy Cleopatras is a spirited history of a genre and the movies that he grew up watching, which he loves without irony (but with plenty of self-awareness and humor). Blaxploitation was a major trend, but it was never simple. The films mixed self-empowerment with exploitation, base stereotypes with essential representation that spoke to the lives and fantasies of Black viewers. The time is right for a reappraisal, understanding these films in the context of the time, and exploring their lasting influence.

  • PRE-ORDER: Cinema Speculation

    by Quentin Tarantino


    PRE-ORDER: On Sale Date: March 26, 2024

    The long-awaited first work of nonfiction from the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: a deliriously entertaining, wickedly intelligent cinema book as unique and creative as anything by Quentin Tarantino.

    In addition to being among the most celebrated of contemporary filmmakers, Quentin Tarantino is possibly the most joyously infectious movie lover alive. For years he has touted in interviews his eventual turn to writing books about films. Now, with Cinema Speculation, the time has come, and the results are everything his passionate fans—and all movie lovers—could have hoped for. Organized around key American films from the 1970s, all of which he first saw as a young moviegoer at the time, this book is as intellectually rigorous and insightful as it is rollicking and entertaining. At once film criticism, film theory, a feat of reporting, and wonderful personal history, it is all written in the singular voice recognizable immediately as QT’s and with the rare perspective about cinema possible only from one of the greatest practitioners of the artform ever.

  • Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness

    by Zanele Muholi


    “These feel like images you might have dreamed, both of the kind that slip away and the ones you manage to keep tenuously in your grasp, slippery, otherworldly. . . . Before our eyes, Zanele Muholi transforms into a mother, a domestic worker, an Afrofuturist, an oracle. It’s fiction and it is not.”―Yrsa Daley-Ward, The New York Times Book Review

    Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness is the long-awaited monograph from one of the most powerful visual activists of our time. The book features over ninety of Muholi’s evocative self-portraits, each image drafted from material props in Muholi’s immediate environment. A powerfully arresting collection of work, Muholi’s radical statements of identity, race, and resistance are a direct response to contemporary and historical racisms. As Muholi states, “I am producing this photographic document to encourage individuals in my community to be brave enough to occupy spaces―brave enough to create without fear of being vilified. . . . To teach people about our history, to rethink what history is all about, to reclaim it for ourselves―to encourage people to use artistic tools such as cameras as weapons to fight back.”

    With more than twenty written contributions from curators, poets, and authors, alongside luxurious tritone reproductions of Muholi’s images, Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness is as much a manifesto of resistance as it is an autobiographical, artistic statement.

  • Dawoud Bey: Elegy

    by Dawoud Bey


    Dawoud Bey focuses on the landscape to create a portrait of the early African American presence in the United States.

    Renowned for his Harlem street scenes and expressive portraits, Dawoud Bey continues his ongoing series on African American history. Elegy brings together Bey’s three landscape series to date—Night Coming Tenderly, Black  (2017); In This Here Place  (2021); and Stony the Road (2023)—elucidating the deep historical memory still embedded in the geography of the United States. Bey takes viewers to the historic Richmond Slave Trail in Virginia, where Africans were marched onto auction blocks; to the plantations of Louisiana, where they labored; and along the last stages of the Underground Railroad in Ohio, where fugitives sought self-emancipation. Essays by the exhibition’s curator, Valerie Cassel Oliver, and scholars LeRonn P. Brooks, Imani Perry, and Christina Sharpe illuminate the work. By interweaving these bodies of work into an elegy in three movements, Bey doesn’t merely evoke history, he retells it through historically grounded images that challenge viewers to go beyond seeing and imagine lived experiences. 

    Copublished by Aperture and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond

  • PRE-ORDER: The Swans of Harlem: Five Black Ballerinas, Fifty Years of Sisterhood, and Their Reclamation of a Groundbreaking History

    by Karen Valby


    PRE-ORDER: On Sale Date: April 30, 2024

    The forgotten story of a pioneering group of five Black ballerinas and their fifty-year sisterhood, a legacy erased from history—until now. At the height of the Civil Rights movement, Lydia Abarca was a Black prima ballerina with a major international dance company—the Dance Theatre of Harlem, a troupe of women and men who became each other’s chosen family. She was the first Black company ballerina on the cover of Dance magazine, an Essence cover star; she was cast in The Wiz and in a Bob Fosse production on Broadway. She performed in some of ballet’s most iconic works with other trailblazing ballerinas, including the young women who became her closest friends—founding Dance Theatre of Harlem members Gayle McKinney-Griffith and Sheila Rohan, as well as first-generation dancers Karlya Shelton and Marcia Sells. These Swans of Harlem performed for the Queen of England, Mick Jagger, and Stevie Wonder, on the same bill as Josephine Baker, at the White House, and beyond. But decades later there was almost no record of their groundbreaking history to be found. Out of a sisterhood that had grown even deeper with the years, these Swans joined forces again—to share their story with the world. Captivating, rich in vivid detail and character, and steeped in the glamour and grit of professional ballet, The Swans of Harlem is a riveting account of five extraordinarily accomplished women, a celebration of both their historic careers and the sustaining, grounding power of female friendship, and a window into the robust history of Black ballet, hidden for too long.

  • Mortevivum: Photography and the Politics of the Visual (On Seeing)

    by Kimberly Juanita Brown


    A powerful examination of the unsettling history of photography and its fraught relationship to global antiblackness. Since photography’s invention, black life has been presented as fraught, short, agonizingly filled with violence, and indifferent to intervention: living death—mortevivum—in a series of still frames that refuse a complex humanity. In Mortevivum, Kimberly Juanita Brown shows us how the visual logic of documentary photography and the cultural legacy of empire have come together to produce the understanding that blackness and suffering—and death—are inextricable. Brown traces this idea from the earliest images of the enslaved to the latest newspaper photographs of black bodies, from the United States and South Africa to Haiti and Rwanda, documenting the enduring, pernicious connection between photography and a global history of antiblackness. Photography's history, inextricably linked to colonialism and white supremacy, is a catalog of othering, surveillance, and the violence of objectification. In the genocide in Rwanda, for instance, photographs after the fact tell viewers that blackness comes with a corresponding violence that no human intervention can abate. In Haiti, the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere, photographic “evidence” of its sovereign failure suggests that the formerly enslaved cannot overthrow their masters and survive to tell the tale. And in South Africa and the United States, a loop of racial violence reminds black subjects of their lower-class status mandated via the state. Illustrating the global nature of antiblackness that pervades photographic archives of the present and the past, Mortevivum reveals how we live in a repetition of imagery signaling who lives and who dies on a gelatin silver print—on a page in a book, on the cover of newspaper, and in the memory of millions.

  • Rahim Fortune: I Can't Stand to See You Cry

    by Rahim Fortune

    Sold out

    "A year and change into father's diagnosis, his nightly calls began to become more frequent. My sister and I, his youngest children, spent countless hours in his room caring for him as his body gave up. Many nights we'd leave his room both knowing his condition was getting much worse, but we chose to say nothing of it."

    I can't stand to see you cry is an exploration of Texas and the surrounding states, as well as the people who are fixed within its complex landscape. Fortune analyses relationships between family, friends and strangers, all caught in a flood of health and environmental issues while working to maintain grace. The artist uses his own personal experiences to explore the friction between public and private life, and the unspoken tensions in daily life through an approach rooted in the landscape. Moreover, Fortune’s biographical approach to photography attempts to unpack his own identity and experience in the midst of a pandemic, civil unrest, a cross-country move, a career, and the loss of a parent, thinking about both the future and past.

  • History Comics: Hip-Hop: The Beat of America

    by Jarrett Williams

    Turn back the clock with History Comics! In this volume, witness the birth of hip-hop and learn how this musical genre became a cultural revolution.

    From its humble origins at house parties in the Bronx, where DJs mixed old records to create new sounds, charismatic MCs let their clever lyrics flow, and B-boys and B-girls pioneered inventive dance moves, hip-hop quickly became a musical and cultural revolution.

    In this volume of History Comics, we follow Aaliyah, a hip-hop superfan who is about to get a lesson in all things “old school” courtesy of her dad. The pair take a day trip to the Bronx, where Aaliyah discovers the many unsung
    heroes who helped create the foundations of hip-hop. So get ready to drop the beat, bust a move, and get down with some fresh rap knowledge!

  • PRE-ORDER: God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin

    edited by Hilton Als


    PRE-ORDER: On Sale Date: March 19, 2024

    Baldwin’s life and legacy as remembered by a pantheon of artists and writers: from Jamaica Kincaid and Barry Jenkins to Richard Avedon and Alice Neel

    When author James Baldwin died in 1987, he left behind an extraordinary body of work: novels, poems, film scripts and, perhaps most indelibly, essays. A friend and supporter of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers, Baldwin was a critical voice in the civil rights movement. After reaching acclaim in his early career as a writer, he struggled to retain the author’s “I,” while taking on the “we” of the people.
    Edited by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Hilton Als and growing out of his landmark exhibition at David Zwirner in 2019, God Made My Face brings together an impressive assembly of contributors, ranging from Baldwin biographer David Leeming to novelist Jamaica Kincaid and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, to create a memorial mosaic: one that not only mirrors Baldwin’s various tones but also closely examines his singular contributions to cinema, theater, the essay and Black American critical studies. These essays are illustrated by artwork from modern and contemporary artists who were either personal contemporaries of Baldwin or directly inspired by his work. In each piece assembled here, the authors speak from a personal, informed perspective, illuminating Baldwin’s deeply anguished and enlightened voice and his belief that, ultimately—because we are human—we share the potential to love, connect and live together in all our glory.
    Artists include: Diane Arbus, Eugène Atget, Richard Avedon, Don Bachardy, Alvin Baltrop, Anthony Barboza, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Beauford Delaney, Marlene Dumas, Glenn Ligon, George McCalman, Alice Neel, Elle Pérez, Cameron Rowland, Kara Walker, James Welling, Larry Wolhandler.
    Authors include:Stephen Best, Daphne A. Brooks, Teju Cole, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Barry Jenkins, Jamaica Kincaid, David Leeming, Darryl Pinckney.

  • Barkley L. Hendricks: Portraits at The Frick

    edited by Aimee Ng, Antwaun Sargent, & Thelma Golden

    American artist Barkley L. Hendricks (1945–2017) revolutionized contemporary portraiture with his vivid depictions of Black subjects beginning in the late 1960s. This book contextualizes Hendricks’s portraits at different stages of the country’s history and places him in the pantheon of innovative twentieth-century artists.

    Hendricks developed his signature style at a time of significant social and cultural change in the United States, especially with regard to Black artists, and amid a perceived bifurcation between abstraction and representation. He produced portraits from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. Following a hiatus during which he made landscapes, basketball paintings, works on paper, and photographs, he resumed his portraiture practice from 2002 until his death in 2017. Hendricks’s portrait paintings, often derived from photographs of friends and family, hired models, or figures he encountered on the street, were inspired by the artist’s research, international travels, and visits to museums like The Frick Collection, where he studied centuries-old European paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Bronzino, and others.

    This publication presents some of the most inventive and striking examples from Hendricks’s first period of portrait painting, including “limited-palette” canvases—featuring Black figures dressed in white against white backgrounds—a self-portrait, and boldly colorful works that spotlight their subjects’ spectacular styles and poses. An assessment of this great artist acknowledges his significant contributions to the canon of American art and portraiture in general. In the book, Hendricks’s art and its impact are explored by artists and creative figures including Derrick Adams, Hilton Als, Nick Cave, Awol Erizku, Rashid Johnson, Fahamu Pecou, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.
  • Rashid Johnson

    edited by Claudia Rankine, Sampada Aranke & Akili Tommasino

    Sold out

    The most comprehensive publication to date on widely celebrated artist Rashid Johnson

    ‘Johnson is a leading voice of his generation.’ – New York Times

    The most comprehensive publication to date on widely celebrated artist Rashid Johnson

    Working with a variety of media that includes painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance, Rashid Johnson has created a nuanced and iconographic body of work that connects literature, music, and art. Personal references and pervasive cultural narratives are interweaved with the legacy of modernist abstraction, producing what critics have labelled ‘conceptual post-black art’. A precocious talent (his work was included in the seminal ‘Freestyle’ exhibition in New York in 2001), Johnson received the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Prize, which honours contributions in the field of African-American art.

  • Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now

    by Florence Ostende


    Weems’ writings, lectures and conversations, published here for the first time, “beautify the mess of a messy world”

    Widely considered to be one of the most influential living American artists, New York-based photographer and multimedia artist Carrie Mae Weems (born 1953) has developed a practice celebrated for her exploration of cultural identity, power dynamics, intimacy and social justice through a body of work that challenges prevailing representations of race, gender and class. Defined by the use of photography, installation, film and performance, her remarkably diverse and radical oeuvre questions dominant ideologies and historical narratives disseminated within mass media. Published in the context of her solo exhibitions at Barbican Art Gallery London and Kunstmuseum Basel, this book brings together a selection of Weems’ own writings, lectures and conversations for the first time, providing her personal insights into themes such as the consequences of power, artistic appropriation and history-making.

  • Kehinde Wiley: A Portrait of a Young Gentleman

    by Kehinde Wiley

    Sold out

    Presenting Kehinde Wiley’s hotly anticipated response to a legendary Gainsborough portrait

    This volume presents A Portrait of a Young Gentleman, a new portrait by Kehinde Wiley (born 1977), commissioned to mark the centennial of the acquisition of Blue Boy by Henry and Arabella Huntington. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens places Wiley's painting in conversation with Thomas Gainsborough's 18th-century masterpiece. A deep connection exists between the museum’s most famous painting and the artist who is known for creating one of the most beloved presidential portraits of our time. A native of Los Angeles, Wiley has often spoken about his childhood visits to the Huntington’s British portrait gallery and how they inspired him to become an artist.
    Richly illustrated with portraits by Wiley and by 18th-century masters such as Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Hudson, this book offers insight into the evolving history of portraiture and the representation of power. An essay by Malik Gaines, Associate Professor of Performance Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, investigates Wiley’s postmodern strategy of inserting Black subjects into canonical European settings. An essay by fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell situates Wiley’s work within the traditions and trappings of 18th-century grand manner portraiture.

  • Mural

    by Mahmoud Darwish, John Berger

    Sold out

    *Ships in 7-10 Business Days*

    Mahmoud Darwish was the Palestinian national poet. One of the greatest poets of the last half century, his work evokes the loss of his homeland and is suffused with the pain of dispossession and exile. His poems display a brilliant acuity, a passion for and openness to the world and, above all, a deep and abiding humanity. Here, his close friends John Berger and Rema Hammami present a beautiful new translation of two of Darwish’s later works. Illustrated with original drawings by John Berger, Mural is a testimony to one of the most important and powerful poets of our age.

  • Graciela Iturbide: Heliotropo 37

    by Graciela Iturbide


    A sumptuous survey of Mexico's foremost photographer

    Through more than 200 photographs, this luxurious volume presents Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide’s most iconic works alongside an important selection of previously unpublished photographs and a series of color photographs specially commissioned by the Fondation Cartier.
    Working mainly in black and white, Iturbide has explored the cohabitation between ancestral traditions and Catholic rites in Mexico, humanity’s relationship with death and the roles of women in society. In recent years, her photographs have emptied themselves of human presence, revealing the enigmatic life of objects and nature. In addition to her stark images of her homeland, this book also includes images from her series in India, the United States and elsewhere. Heliotropo 37, named for the photographer’s address in Mexico City, also contains an interview with the photographer by French essayist Fabienne Bradu, an original short story by Guatemalan writer Eduardo Halfon and a photo-portrait of Iturbide’s studio by Mexican photographer Pablo López Luz.
    One of the most influential photographers active in Latin America today, Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide (born 1942) began studying photography in the 1970s with legendary photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Seeking “to explore and articulate the ways in which a vocable such as 'Mexico' is meaningful only when understood as an intricate combination of histories and practices,” as she puts it, Iturbide has created a nuanced and sensitive documentary record of contemporary Mexico. She lives and works in Mexico City.

  • Travel & See: Black Diaspora Art Practices since the 1980s

    by Kobena Mercer

    In this set of essays that cover the period from 1992 to 2012, Kobena Mercer uses a diasporic model of criticism to analyze the cross-cultural aesthetic practice of African American and black British artists and to show how their refiguring of visual representations of blackness transform perceptions of race.
    Over the years, Kobena Mercer has critically illuminated the visual innovations of African American and black British artists. In Travel & See he presents a diasporic model of criticism that gives close attention to aesthetic strategies while tracing the shifting political and cultural contexts in which black visual art circulates. In eighteen essays, which cover the period from 1992 to 2012 and discuss such leading artists as Isaac Julien, Renée Green, Kerry James Marshall, and Yinka Shonibare, Mercer provides nothing less than a counternarrative of global contemporary art that reveals how the “dialogical principle” of cross-cultural interaction not only has transformed commonplace perceptions of blackness today but challenges us to rethink the entangled history of modernism as well.
  • Black Light

    by Kehinde Wiley

    Kehinde Wiley painted President Obama's official portrait and this is an early book from him documenting his extraordinary talents.

    "For most of Kehinde Wiley's very successful career, he has created large, vibrant, highly patterned paintings of young African American men wearing the latest in hip hop street fashion. The theatrical poses and objects in the portraits are based on well-known images of powerful figures drawn from seventeenth- through nineteenth-century Western art. Pictorially, Wiley gives the authority of those historical sitters to his twenty-first-century subjects."
    -National Portrait Gallery

    "My intention is to craft a world picture that isn't involved in political correctives or visions of utopia. It's more of a perpetual play with the language of desire and power."
    -Kehinde Wiley

    "Wiley inserts black males into a painting tradition that has typically omitted them or relegated them to peripheral positions. At the same time, he critiques contemporary portrayals of black masculinity itself.... He systematically takes a 'pedestrian' encounter with African-American men, elevates it to heroic scale, and reveals-through subtle formal alterations-that postures of power can sometimes be seen as just that, a pose."
    -Art in America

    Los Angeles native and New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history's portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists-including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, and others-Wiley engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic, and sublime in his representation of urban black and brown men found throughout the world. By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, wealth, prestige, and history to subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, Wiley makes his subjects and their stylistic references juxtaposed inversions of each other, imbuing his images with ambiguity and provocative perplexity.

    In Black Light, his first monograph, Wiley's larger-than-life figures disturb and interrupt tropes of portrait painting, often blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation and the critical portrayal of masculinity and physicality as it pertains to the view of black and brown young men. The models are dressed in their everyday clothing, most of which is based on far-reaching Western ideals of style, and are asked to assume poses found in paintings or sculptures representative of the history of their surroundings. This juxtaposition of the "old" inherited by the "new"-who often have no visual inheritance of which to speak-immediately provides a discourse that is at once visceral and cerebral in scope.

    Without shying away from the socio-political histories relevant to the subjects, Wiley's heroic images exhibit a unique modern style that awakens complex issues which many would prefer remain mute.
  • Black TV: Five Decades of Groundbreaking Television from Soul Train to Black-ish and Beyond

    by Bethonie Butler

    Sold out

    With iconic imagery and engrossing text, Black TV is the first book of its kind to celebrate the groundbreaking, influential, and often under-appreciated shows centered on Black people and their experiences from the last fifty years.
    Over the past decade, television has seen an explosion of acclaimed and influential debut storytellers including Issa Rae (Insecure), Donald Glover (Atlanta), and Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You). This golden age of Black television would not be possible without the actors, showrunners, and writers that worked for decades to give voice to the Black experience in America.
    Written by veteran TV reporter Bethonie Butler, Black TV tells the stories behind the pioneering series that led to this moment, celebrating the laughs, the drama, and the performances we’ve loved over the last fifty years. Beginning with Julia, the groundbreaking sitcom that made Diahann Carroll the first Black woman to lead a prime-time network series as something other than a servant, she explores the 1960s and 1970s as an era of unprecedented representation, with shows like Soul TrainRootsand The Jeffersons. She unpacks the increasingly nuanced comedies of the 1980s from 227 to A Different World, and how they paved the way for the ’90s Black-sitcom boom that gave us The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Living Single. Butler also looks at the visionary comedians—from Flip Wilson to the Wayans siblings to Dave Chappelle—and connects all these achievements to the latest breakthroughs in television with showrunners like Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay, and Quinta Brunson leading the charge.
    With dozens of photographs reminding readers of memorable moments and scenes, Butler revisits breakout performances and important guest appearances, delivering some overdue accolades along the way. So, put on your Hillman sweatshirt, make some popcorn, and get ready for a dyn-o-mite retrospective of the most groundbreaking and entertaining shows in television history.

  • The Color of Dance: A Celebration of Diversity and Inclusion in the World of Ballet

    by TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian


    From the photographer behind the Instagram sensation Brown Girls Do Ballet, this stunning coffee-table book showcases breathtaking images of ballerinas of color of all ages and levels that reflect today’s beautifully diverse world of dance. 

    For decades the prominent image of a ballet dancer has been a white body with pale clothing. It took 75 years for American Ballet Theatre to have its first African American female principal dancer, Misty Copeland. When TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian went to enroll her three-year-old daughter into her first ballet class, she immediately saw this lack of diversity and representation—even on her local dance studio’s website. Within weeks TaKiyah, a freelance photographer, began shooting a project she called Brown Girls Do Ballet, which eventually became an Instagram hit and a nonprofit organization that provides resources, mentorship, inspiration, and encouragement to young dancers of color worldwide.

    For her first book, The Color of Dance, TaKiyah traveled around the United States seeking out dancers of African, Asian, East Indian, Hispanic, and Native American ancestry. With these more than 190 breathtaking images of colorful ballerinas of all ages and levels, both amateur and professional, TaKiyah gives a voice to dancers who have been underrepresented for too long.

    With dozens of quotes throughout from ballerinas themselves, The Color of Dance redefines what this classically Eurocentric art form has looked like for centuries and will inspire dancers—and all of us—to pursue our dreams no matter what barriers are put in front of us.

  • The New Brownies' Book: A Love Letter to Black Families

    by Karida L. Brown & Charly Palmer


    Inspired by the groundbreaking work of W. E. B. Du Bois, this beautiful collection brings together an outstanding roster of Black creative voices to honor, celebrate, and foster Black excellence.

    The New Brownies’ Book reimagines the very first publication created for African American children in 1920 as a must-have anthology for a new generation. Expanding on the mission of the original periodical to inspire the hearts and minds of Black children across the country, esteemed scholar Karida L. Brown and award-winning artist Charly Palmer have gathered the work of more than fifty contemporary Black artists and writers. The result is a book bursting with essays, poems, photographs, paintings, and short stories reflecting on the joy and depth of the Black experience—an immersive treasure trove that reminds readers of all ages that Black is brilliant, beautiful, and bold.

    IMPORTANT HISTORICAL LEGACY: In 1920, W. E. B. Du Bois and the founders of the NAACP published The Brownies’ Book: A Monthly Magazine for Children of the Sun, which included art, stories, letters, and activities to inspire children, share Black history, and celebrate their identities. As the first periodical for African American youth, this was an important work in the history of children’s literature. The New Brownies’ Book revives its mission to inspire the young readers of today.
    INCREDIBLE CONTRIBUTORS: This book features the work of talented and exciting Black creators, including playwright and poet Ntozake Shange, writer and editor Damon Young, Def Poetry Jam co-creator and painter Danny Simmons, sociologist and educator Dr. Bertice Berry, children’s book illustrator James E. Ransome, muralist Fabian Williams, collage artist Marryam Moma, and many more. 

    BEAUTIFUL KEEPSAKE: This collection presents a celebratory array of artwork, from detailed paintings and drawings to photographs and collages. It includes stories meant to be shared by children and adults, offering a way for all families—especially Black families—to connect across generations through the power of literature. With its meaningful content and deluxe packaging, this hardcover volume makes a thoughtful gift for new parents, grandparents, or inquisitive readers of all ages.

  • Centered: People and Ideas Diversifying Design

    by Kaleena Sales

    A rich, inclusive, contemporary, and global look at design diversity, past and present, through essays, interviews, and images curated by design educator and advocate Kaleena Sales.

    As the design industry reexamines its emphasis on Eurocentric ideologies and wrestles with its conventional practices, Centered advocates for highlighting and giving a voice to the people, places, methods, ideas, and beliefs that have been eclipsed or excluded by dominant design movements.

    Curated by Kaleena Sales, a powerful voice and noted advocate for diversity in the design community, the thirteen essays and interviews in this volume feature important and underrepresented design work and projects, both historical and present-day, including:

    • Gee’s Bend Quilters, by Stephen Child and Isabella D’Agnenica
    • A Chinese Typographic Archive, by YuJune Park and Caspar Lam 
    • Indigenous Sovereignty and Design: An Interview with Sadie Red Wing (Her Shawl is Yellow)
    • The Truck Art of India, by Shantanu Suman
    • New Lessons from the Bauhaus: An Interview with Ellen Lupton 
    • Vocal Type: An Interview with Tré Seals
    • Decolonizing Graphic Design, A Must, by Cheryl D. Miller 
    • And more

    Filled with striking visuals from a range of global designers, Centered is a must-read and must-have for design practitioners, educators, students, and anyone interested in expanding narratives and gaining a more inclusive understanding of design diversity and its impact on culture.

  • Baldwin Lee

    by Baldwin Lee


    "One of the great overlooked luminaries of American picture-making." –The New Yorker

    In 1983, Baldwin Lee (born 1951) left his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his 4 × 5 view camera and set out on the first of a series of road trips to photograph the American South. The subjects of his pictures were Black Americans: at home, at work and at play, in the street and in nature. This project would consume Lee—a first-generation Chinese American—for the remainder of that decade, and it would forever transform his perception of his country, its people, and himself. The resulting archive from this seven-year period contains nearly 10,000 black-and-white negatives. This monograph, *Baldwin Lee*, presents a selection of 88 images edited by the photographer Barney Kulok, accompanied by an interview with Lee by the curator Jessica Bell Brown and an essay by the writer Casey Gerald. Arriving almost four decades after Lee began his journey, this publication reveals the artist’s unique commitment to picturing life in America and, in turn, one of the most piercing and poignant bodies of work of its time.

  • PRE-ORDER: The African Gaze: Photography, Cinema and Power

    edited by Amy Sall


    PRE-ORDER: On Sale Date: May 2, 2024

    An accessible and popular introduction to African photography and film from the mid-twentieth century to the present day

    Drawing from archival imagery and documents, interviews with the photographers and filmmakers (in some cases family members and/ or close associates), and with contributions from writers, scholars, and curators, The African Gaze is a mapping of and an introduction to the postcolonial African moving and still image.

    In The African Gaze, based on the university course of the same title, author Amy Sall looks at ways in which artistic expression in photography and cinema engendered discourses concerning identity, power, and self-determination.

    Colonial photography deprived Africans of agency, rendered them voiceless, and classified them as subaltern. In colonial photography, African people were subjected to a physical positioning and gaze which took away their autonomy and allowed western viewers to perceive them as primitive. African photographers and filmmakers from just before independence and onward (and in some cases even earlier), were able to reclaim this power and allow their communities to see themselves as they were, and explore their social, economic, and political conditions from their own perspective.

    This is a timely publication as engagement with Black and African histories is stronger than ever before (and long overdue). The major names of African photography, such as Malick Sidibé, Sanlé Sory, and Seydou Keita have become highly collectible in the art market and African cinema, pioneered by Ousmane Sembene in 1960s Senegal, is now recognized for its creative innovation and storytelling.

  • Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture

    edited by Stuart Baker


    The acclaimed, definitive and essential guide to 1980s Jamaican Dancehall—featuring hundreds of photographs with interviews and biographies

    This widely admired book, back in print with a new introduction, captures a previously unseen era of musical culture, fashion and lifestyle. With unprecedented access to the incredibly vibrant music scene during this period, Beth Lesser’s photographs are a unique way into a previously hidden part of Jamaican culture. Born in the 1950s out of the neighborhood sound systems of Kingston, Dancehall grew to its height in the 1980s before a massive influx of drugs and guns made the scene too dangerous for many.
    Dancehall is a culture that encompasses music, fashion, drugs, guns, art, community, technology and more. Many of today’s music and fashion styles can be traced back to Dancehall culture and continue to be influenced by it today.
    Dancehall is an essential reference book for anyone interested in reggae, as well as a unique photographic and textual sourcebook of the musical, cultural and political life of Jamaica.
    In the early 1980s, as Jamaica was in the throes of political and gang violence, Beth Lesser ventured where few other dared, documenting the producers, singers, DJs and sound systems who all made a living out of the slums of Kingston. This book is a thrilling record of the exciting, dangerous and vibrant world of Dancehall.

  • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

    by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye


    "The British-Ghanaian artist creates compelling character studies of people who don’t exist, reflecting her twin talents as a writer and a painter" –Zadie Smith, the New Yorker

    This volume gathers around 60 works by British artist and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, internationally celebrated for her paintings of timeless subjects in everyday moments of happiness, comradery and solitude. The publication includes texts by Yiadom-Boakye herself, writer and filmmaker Kodwo Eshun, and curator Lekha Hileman Waitoller.
    Yiadom-Boakye’s lush oils on canvas or coarse linen portray fictitious characters rendered in loose brushwork and set against dramatic backgrounds. The figures are composites drawn from different sources including scrapbooks and drawings. Animals such as birds, foxes, owls and dogs make regular appearances. To look at a Yiadom-Boakye painting is an invitation to slow down and observe, to enter the imaginary visual tales she spins.
    Born and raised in London by Ghanian parents, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (born 1977) studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and Falmouth College of Arts, and received her MA from the Royal Academy Schools in 2003. Her first solo exhibition was held at Jack Shainman Gallery in 2010. Since then, her work has been exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery in London (2015), the Venice Biennale (2013), the New Museum in New York (2012), the Biennale de Lyon in France (2011), the Studio Museum in Harlem (2008) and many others. Her work has been collected by the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

  • Deborah Roberts: Twenty Years of Art/Work

    by Deborah Roberts

    Sold out

    "For all our sakes, I hope Deborah Roberts continues to stake a claim, through her work, for a more expansive view of Black children." —Dawoud Bey

    The definitive look at two decades of work by Austin-based artist Deborah Roberts (born 1962) with newly commissioned texts and a thorough dive into her archive, this monograph offers a comprehensive view of one of today’s most significant social observers. An extensive plate section is accompanied by a heartfelt foreword from Dawoud Bey on "the tragic mischaracterization of Black children"; an insightful essay from Ekow Eshun on the social and political histories of innocence, race and the fractured nature of the contemporary Black experience; a celebratory tribute from author and artist Carolyn Jean Martin on the musicality, humility and generosity of Roberts’ practice; and a free-ranging conversation between Roberts and cultural historian Sarah Elizabeth Lewis.
    By using images from American history, Black culture, pop culture and Black history, Roberts critiques perceptions of ideal beauty and challenges stereotypes. She combines found and manipulated images with hand-drawn and painted details to create hybrid figures, often young girls and increasingly Black boys, whose well-being and futures are equally threatened because of the double standard of boyhood and criminality that is projected upon them at such a young age. Each child has character and agency to find their own way amid the complicated narratives of American, African American and art history.
    Deborah Roberts (born 1962) is a mixed-media artist whose work challenges the notion of ideal beauty. Her work has been exhibited internationally across the US and Europe, and is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum; The Studio Museum in Harlem; LACMA, Los Angeles; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX, among other institutions. Roberts received her MFA from Syracuse University. She lives and works in Austin, Texas, and is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.

  • Hughie Lee-Smith

    by Hughie Lee-Smith


    At once surreal and neoclassical, Lee-Smith’s masterful compositions reflect the social alienation of mid-20th-century America

    Hughie Lee-Smith came of age in the midst of the Great Depression, spending his early life primarily between Cleveland and Detroit. The Midwest left an indelible impression on the artist, whose Social Realist paintings referenced its expansive gray skies and industrial architecture. Carnival imagery recurs throughout Lee-Smith’s work via the motifs of ribbons, pendants and balloons, often evoking the contrast between the carnival’s playful theatricality and its uncanny imitation of reality. He depicted abandoned, crumbling urban architecture as the sets for his existential tableaux, and even when his figures appear together, they always seem solitary. Over the course of his long career, Lee-Smith developed a distinct figurative vocabulary influenced by both Neoclassicism and Surrealism—the summation of a lifelong effort to see beyond the real.

    This volume, published for a 2022 show at Karma, New York, surveys the artist's practice from 1938 to 1999, tracing his development from depictions of the Midwest to his years on the East Coast in the decades following World War II. It features writing by Hilton Als, Lauren Haynes, Steve Lock and Leslie King-Hammond, as well as a conversation between Reggie Burrows Hodges, LeRonn P. Brooks and Kellie Jones.

    Hughie Lee-Smith (1915–99) was born in Eustis, Florida. Early in his career he was involved in several WPA projects, including Karamu House in Cleveland (the oldest running African American theater in the nation) and the Southside Community Art Center in Chicago, where he would cross paths with Charles White, Gordon Parks and Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, among others. Eventually teaching would take him to the East Coast, where he was artist in residence at Howard University in Washington, DC, and later an instructor at the Art Students League of New York. He died in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • The Book of Rhyme & Reason: Hip-Hop 1994–1997: Photographs by Peter Spirer

    by Peter Spirer


    The ultimate backstage pass: a photographic inside look at the making of the pioneering hip hop documentary Rhyme & Reason

    In the mid-1990s, documentary filmmaker Peter Spirer embarked on a three-year odyssey to create a realistic portrait of hip hop, interviewing over 80 artists. Spirer captured a seminal moment as the culture balanced on the cusp of the mainstream. As Ice-T comments in the introduction to the book, "Rhyme & Reason is one of the few films that was there to document us before hip hop truly exploded."
    While filming, Spirer took stills using a medium-format Rolleiflex camera. These photographs form The Book of Rhyme & Reason. Spirer writes: "The Rollei allowed me to capture some amazing moments: Puffy getting a trim in his office while doing three tasks at once, Biggie opening record plaques on his couch, Ice-T and Mack 10 hanging with their homies, Heavy D at the barber, playing pool. There was the Jack The Rapper convention with Death Row making a statement, at a Disney World Hotel, that ended in chaos. There were magical moments such as Redman and Erick Sermon freestyling on the mic to amazed onlookers at a block party in Newark and watching Wu-Tang Clan chop it up on the block in Staten Island on a cold winter’s day before they exploded."
    This coffee-table volume features over 130 of Spirer’s photographs from 1994 to 1997. As hip hop commemorates its 50th anniversary in 2023, it is particularly fitting that many of these images from this formative period are being published for the first time.
    Peter Spirer (born 1963) is an Academy Award– and Emmy Award–nominated director and producer. His catalog of over 32 films includes Rhyme & Reason (1997), Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel, Life of an Outlaw (2002), the BEEF series (2003–5), Notorious B.I.G.: Bigger Than Life (2007) and The Legend of 420 (2017).

Stay Informed. We're building a community committed to celebrating Black authors + artisans. Subscribe to keep up with all things Kindred Stories.