Tyler Mitchell captures young black people in gardens, parks or in idyllic studio backdrops where they appear as free, expressive, effortless, sensitive and proud, bringing their humanity to the forefront.
“Tyler’s exhibition comes at a critical time in our visual culture when so many are challenging pre-existing representations and taking ownership of their own imaging. His poetic images and videos offer our visitors a wonderful opportunity to re-envision how they see the world around them and all that is possible.” –Isolde Brielmaier, ICP Curator-at-Large
Tyler Mitchell, a 24-year-old photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, aims to revitalize and elevate the Black body in his work by representing people in his own community as joyful and proud. Characterized by a use of natural light and candy-color palettes, his work visualizes a Black utopia contrasting with representations and experiences of reality, while offering a powerful and hopeful counter narrative.
“I often think about what white fun looks like, and this notion that Black people can’t have the same. Growing up with Tumblr, I would often come across images of sensual, young, attractive white models running around being free and having so much fun – the kind of stuff Larry Clark and Ryan McGinley would make. I seldom saw that freedom for Black people in images – or at least in the photography I knew. My work responds to this lack. I feel an urgency to visualize Black people as free, expressive, effortless, and sensitive.” –Tyler Mitchell