Based in Philadelphia, photographer and creative director Shawn Theodore is best known for his unique portrayal of the African American community. He is now presenting his photographs in his very first solo museum exhibition titled “Church of Broken Pieces”, at the Richard Beavers Gallery in Brooklyn. Drawn from the name of a church close to the artist’s childhood home, Theodore captures black Americans who represent different parts of Philadelphia’s African American neighbourhoods, such as displacement, gentrification, socioeconomic disparity, and violence. The photographs are characterized by the use of vibrant colours and shadow plays, exposing the many ways how natural light can caress the skin of the Afro-Diasporic subjects. Inspired by the saturated palette and dynamic surrealism of the great Viviane Sassen, Theodore captures clothing and bodies in motion. His subjects enact the language of fashion spreads, history paintings, street performances, and mystical rites, often simultaneously.
All images © Shawn Theodore
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