John Edmonds

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Artist Statement

How does the notion of seeing and being seen influence one’s ideas around representation? How can art act as a statement about the personal and individual experience, while also probing questions about the political and social landscape that we are a part of? These are two questions of many that I continue to ask myself about my own practice as an artist and image maker.

I approach men that I meet in public space—on the bus, in the subway, or walking down the street—that remind me of others I know, both in the real world and from figments of my imagination. The affinity and attraction to my models comes from a sincere place of curiosity and desire for closeness. It is through this desire for intimacy that the models become a surrogate.

My subjects become protagonists in my work, and perform in world where stereotypes around the black male identity are both accepted and rejected. Performativity—how the notion of seeing and being seen relates to a third-consciousness—is the space that the protagonists in my photographs exists where the unexpected happens in a not quite defined world. I am interested in the slippage of portraiture—the moments of failure in performing a self and the truth that this reveals.

 

CV

EDUCATION

2016
MFA Photography, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2012
BFA Photography, Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington, DC
2011
L’École Parsons à Paris, Paris, France

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016
REVIVER, ASHES/ASHES, Los Angeles, CA
REVIVER, Johalla Projects, Chicago, IL
CULTURE: 10 Years of Roots & Cutlure Pt. 2, Roots & Culture, Chicago, IL
REVIVER, Danziger Gallery, New York, NY
NEWSPAPER Group Show, Printed Matter Inc., New York, NY
James Baldwin/Jim Brown & The Children, The Artist’s Institute, New York, NY Curated by Hilton Als
New Genealogies: 2016 -, Yale School of Art Green Gallery, New Haven, CT
Speak Out, Bronx Art Space, Bronx, NY
LOVE 2016, LeRoy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University, New York, NY Curated by Rachel Stern
2015
Video Mixer, Yale School of Art Green Gallery, New Haven, CT
SELECT, Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, DC
2014
First Year MFA Exhibition, Yale School of Art Green Gallery, New Haven, CT
Shhh…, EMS Studio at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Madison, ME
5th Annual Contemporary Photography Exhibition, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA
PMA Photography Portfolio, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
FRAMES, Glasgow, UK, Curated by Hank Willis Thomas
Honest Bodies, Windows on Amsterdam Gallery at City University of New York, NY, NY
2013
Fotoweek DC—Uncover/Discover ‘13, National Geographic Museum, Washington, DC
Petty Thieves Three Projection, Petworth-Citizen, Washington, DC
2012
Human Rights Campaign 16th Annual National Silent Auction Dinner, Washington, DC
Breaking Boundaries IV, Pingyao International Photography festival, Pingyao, China
Focal Point: Fine Art & Creative Photography, Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery, Annapolis, Maryland
NEXT at the Corcoran: BFA Class of ‘12, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, Gallery 31, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
2011
École Parsons à Paris: Mid-year Show, Main Hall École Parsons à Paris, Paris, France
2010
Human Rights Campaign 14th Annual National Silent Auction Dinner, Washington, DC
Fotoweek DC — Night Gallery, Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington, DC

AWARDS & HONORS

2014
Winner: Women’s Committe of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Photography Competition
2013
Finalist: Ryan R. Gibbs Photography Award, New Delta Review
Fotoweek DC: Uncover/Discover, Curated by Margaret Heiner & George Hemphill
2012
Juror’s Choice Award, Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery
2008
President’s Award, Corcoran College of Art + Design

RESIDENCIES AND FELLOWSHIPS

2015
Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship, Yale University
2014
Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Madison, ME
2012
FABRICA Residency: United Colors of Benetton’s Research Center, Treviso, Italy

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gotthardt, Alexa, 15 Artists in NYC Summer Group Shows Who Deserve Solo Shows, ARTSY, July 25th 2016. Online
Tobak, Vikki, This Photographer Is Challenging Racial Perceptions About Black Men, THE FADER, July 21st 2016. Online
Frank, Priscilla, Powerful Photos of Men in Hoodies Explore What It Means to be Watched, THE HUFFINGTON POST, July 14th 2016. Online
Sargent, Antwaun, A Photographic Meditation on Contemporary Black Masculinity, THE CREATOR’S PROJECT, VICE, July 10th 2016. Online
Malka, Yael, These Intimate Photographs Capture One Small Once of What Pride is All About, THE FADER, June 13th 2016. Online
Sims, Jamie, The Best Photography from Yale’s MFA Students, THE NEW YORK TIMES ‘T’ STYLE MAGAZINE, May 12th, 2016. Online
Kail, Ellyn, Soft Nude Portraits Challenge Representations of the Black Male Body, FEATURESHOOT. December 11th, 2014. Online
Malito, Alessandra, An Anointing in Shadows and Light, THE NEW YORK TIMES LENS BLOG, April 7th 2014. Online