MAY 3–AUGUST 18, 2019 STEPHANIE AND TIM INGRASSIA GALLERY OF CONTEMPORARY ART, 4TH FLOOR
Brooklyn is where it all started for Russian Ghanaian artist Liz Johnson Artur (b. 1964). While visiting in 1986, she stayed with a Russian family in a predominantly Black neighborhood and began experimenting with her first camera. Having grown up in Bulgaria, Germany, and Russia, she was inspired by her visit to use photography as a way to connect with other people of African descent. Since moving to London in 1991, she has employed photography not only to make a living—publishing work in magazines such as i-D and The Face—but also to document the multiplicity of everyday life in Africa, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean.
The artwork Some Black Parisians consists of 12 large scale neons which highlight the names of some of the models, performers and writers who appear in important French works of art from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
While some of these figures are well known to the general public (Josephine Baker and Alexandre Dumas père, for example) some, such as Laure, who posed as a maid for Édouard Manet’s painting Olympia, remain relatively obscure.