The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion
By Antwaun Sargent. Photographs by Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Micaiah Carter, Awol Erizku, Nadine Ijewere, Quil Lemons, N...
In The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, curator and critic Antwaun Sargent addresses a radical transformation taking place in fashion and art today. The featuring of the Black figure and Black runway and cover models in the media and art has been one marker of increasingly inclusive fashion and art communities. More critically, however, the contemporary visual vocabulary around beauty and the body has been reinfused with new vitality and substance thanks to an increase in powerful images authored by an international community of Black photographers.
In a richly illustrated essay, Sargent opens up the conversation around the role of the Black body in the marketplace; the cross-pollination between art, fashion, and culture in constructing an image; and the institutional barriers that have historically been an impediment to Black photographers participating more fully in the fashion (and art) industries.
Fifteen artist portfolios feature the brightest contemporary fashion photographers, including Tyler Mitchell, the first Black photographer hired to shoot a cover story for American Vogue; Campbell Addy, founder of the Nii Agency and journal; and Nadine Ijewere, whose early series title, The Misrepresentation of Representation, says it all. Alongside a series of conversations between generations, their images and stories chart the history of inclusion, and exclusion, in the creation of the commercial Black image, while simultaneously proposing a brilliantly reenvisioned future.
Photographs by Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Micaiah Carter, Awol Erizku, Nadine Ijewere, Quil Lemons, Namsa Leuba, Renell Medrano, Tyler Mitchell, Jamal Nxedlana, Daniel Obasi, Ruth Ossai, Adrienne Raquel, Dana Scruggs, and Stephen Tayo
And including conversations with Shaniqwa Jarvis, Mickalene Thomas, and Deborah Willis
Number of pages: 304
Number of images: 250
Publication date: 2019-10-29
Measurements: 11 x 8.25 x 1.1 inches
“Systemic change is already afoot, with many of Sargent’s chosen photographers expanding the scope of their work… Righting historical wrongs is one of Sargent’s goals.”—Radhika Seth, Vogue
“…explores and expands the visual narrative on beauty and identity in mainstream culture, but also on ideas specific to gender.” —Rebecca Carroll, WNYC
“These photographers are spearheading a new aesthetic in fashion and art, and are currently some of the most sought-after names in the business.” —Kemi Alemoru, The Guardian
“The sheer size of emerging talent featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a new book by the curator, critic, and W contributor Antwaun Sargent, is astonishing.” —Stephanie Eckardt, W
“The New Black Vanguard is a celebratory and thought-provoking mesh of fashion and art.” —Eni Subair, Refinery29
“With photos illuminating life in Black America and the African diaspora, these artists are crafting a new way of speaking visually about politics and representation.” —Devine Blacksher, The Cut
“The survey includes 15 portfolios of work form women and men; it serves as a resource for editors and curators, a snapshot of the changing fashion and fine-art landscapes, and a celebration of black beauty in all of its guises.” —Jacqui Palumbo, Artsy
“The artists of The New Black Vanguard are telling stories of social and political inclusivity, advocating for a wider celebration of beauty and the self—a powerful antidote for a group previously marginalized in mainstream fashion and culture.” —Gemma Fletcher, Elephant
“A cohort of contemporary black photographers are doing just this: querying the colour-blindness of arts establishments by showing how these figures should be depicted.” —Kadish Morris, Frieze
“The book, Sargent stresses, doesn’t offer a monolithic perspective on the black body and the black subject but rather diverse representations of blackness from all over the world.” —Daphne Milner, AnOther
Antwaun Sargent is an independent writer, curator, and critic whose work has been published in the New Yorker, New York Times, W, Vogue, VICE, and various museum catalogues, among other publications.