In honor of Black History Month, Time Magazine has decided to honor 12 up-and-coming African-American artists. Hailing from across the country and across the creative spectrum, these artists put the word "diversity" into focus.
Getting noticed for an artist, any artist, is difficult. Building a career, any career, when you come from a minority group can present unique challenges. Put those two obstacles together? Well, you get the picture.
But as a former boss of mine at IBM used to say, they aren’t “problems,” they are “opportunities.” Opportunities to strive for success. Opportunities to develop unique skill sets. Opportunities to speak with an authentic voice and speak to an experience not shared by many of those around you.
Time Magazine has convened a panel of experts from major artists such as Carrie Mae Weems to curators such as Azu Nwagbogu and educators like John Edwin Mason, and offered them the opportunity to shed a light on 12 up-and-coming photographers of color who they feel should be on all of our radars.
Spanning everything from fine art to fashion, these artist may share skin color, but the stories they have to tell are as diverse as the worlds they inhabit.
Shamayim (opening photograph) is a New York City-based fashion photographer who presents the world and his bevy of diverse high fashion models oftentimes in stark black and white from dynamic angles.
Joshua Rashaad McFadden’s portraits explore the concept of identity. His images challenge us not to look beneath the surface to understand the deeper story behind the face.
Michael McCoy, a combat veteran, first picked up a camera as a way to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. His documentary images aid in forming a bridge of communication between his community and the world at large.
Gerald Cyrus, a Los Angeles native, made his name on the opposite coasts, portraying the vibrant nightlife of the New York City jazz scene.
Endia Beal, a North Carolina-based portrait artist, deal with matters of identity. A number of her projects including "Can I Touch It?" and "Am I What You're Looking For?" deal with the transition of both black and female identity within the corporate environment.
David Alekhuogie is a Chicago-based photographer capturing fine art images of his immediate environment in new and unique ways.
For a complete list of the featured artist, check out the Time Magazine article.
Do you know any other artists who would make your own list? If so, add them in the comment section below and tell us a bit about what makes their work special.