Black Men Smile
The "Black Men Smile" series is my heartfelt tribute to Black men across the world, an art project that seeks to challenge, defy, and ultimately rewrite prevailing narratives. It is an ode to the joy, warmth, and infectious spirit of Black men who, despite adversities, continue to smile and find happiness.
In the present media landscape, representation of Black men is often skewed towards negativity or stereotyping, obscuring their multifaceted identities. Black men are portrayed too often in the light of violence, poverty, or aggression, which, though an aspect of some lives, is not the complete picture.
The "Black Men Smile" series is my attempt to shift this narrative and create a more balanced, positive portrayal. Through this series, I aim to depict Black men engaged in a multitude of activities - whether it's swimming, painting, cooking, or even just waking up. These seemingly mundane activities, punctuated with genuine smiles, celebrate the everyday lives of Black men.
Each artwork in this series, each smile that I capture, is a conscious act of rebellion against the entrenched negative portrayals. It's an affirmation of joy, resilience, and humanity. It's a celebration of Black men, not as the world sees them, but as they truly are - diverse, beautiful, and full of life.
With the "Black Men Smile" series, my objective is to flood the world with these positive images, to help shift perceptions and remind everyone that Black men are not a monolithic group, but individuals with their unique joys, dreams, and experiences. I believe that every smile I portray can contribute to that change and make a difference.
In essence, "Black Men Smile" is more than just an art project; it's a movement for positive representation and a testament to the power of a simple, heartfelt smile.
"A Splash in Red"
Introducing "A Splash in Red," the inaugural collection of my "Black Men Smile" series, which seeks to celebrate and emphasize the joy and positivity within the Black community. This isn't just an array of portraits—it's a movement to challenge perceptions and give life to the often overlooked moments of pure happiness.
This series captures black men in various settings, finding joy in everything from the mundane to the extraordinary. It's a testament to the raw, unfiltered moments when a smile lights up their faces, reflecting genuine contentment and satisfaction.
In "A Splash in Red," fashion meets emotion in a spectacular fusion. Our subject, adorned in striking red goggles, glasses, and shorts against the backdrop of azure waters, is the epitome of serene happiness. Whether by the ocean or in the pool, his smile stands as a powerful and joyous testament to black male happiness.
"A Splash in Red" is just the beginning of this journey to fill the void of positive representation. It's a step towards a world where joyful images of black men are commonplace, celebrated, and shared freely. So come, join me on this journey, and let's change the narrative together.
"Rise and Shine"
I'm excited to introduce "Rise and Shine," a collection in my "Black Men Smile" series. Representation matters and is a core principle that drives this series. We often see a scarcity of black men joyfully engaged in the most ordinary to extraordinary aspects of life.
With "Rise and Shine," we aim to rewrite that narrative, filling the canvas with the warm smiles of black men during the most private moments of their day—upon waking. Dressed in an array of yellow pajamas, we celebrate black men of all ages, body types, and even those in wheelchairs, each radiating with individual beauty and strength.
These pieces are more than portraits; they're visual affirmations of resilience, joy, and the human spirit. They represent more than just art—it's a celebration of life, a reclamation of narrative, and an assertion of joy. Because black men do smile, and it's about time their happiness takes center stage.
Join me on this journey of celebration. Together, let's continue to fill the representation gap and shine a light on the infectious joy of black men, one smile at a time.