Opening Reception: Donavon Smallwood: 2021 Aperture Portfolio Prize Winner
Wednesday, July 21
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. EDT
Join Aperture for the opening reception of Donavon Smallwood: 2021 Aperture Portfolio Prize Winner, hosted by Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, this exhibition presents the work of Smallwood who was awarded the 2021 Aperture Portfolio Prize for his series Languor.
With his meditative black-and-white project Languor, a series of photographs taken in New York’s Central Park, Donavon Smallwood envisions Black tranquility at the center of the urban landscape. As Mikelle Street writes in Aperture, Smallwood’s body of work was inspired by The Lost Neighborhood under New York’s Central Park, an eight-minute documentary released on Vox in 2020 that tells the story of Seneca Village, a nineteenth-century African American community located on land that is now Central Park. Interested in how the public space was stripped from that community, Smallwood intended to create a narrative of Black life distant from the demands and distortions of the news cycle. Smallwood’s images, with their clarity and precision, invite viewers to consider Black people in natural settings connected to their own cultural history. As Smallwood himself affirms, “When you see Black people just being themselves, that’s what the art is.”
Image courtesy the artist.