“Mother and Son” by Devin Allen

While museums and galleries are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 virus, On View will continue to showcase images from noteworthy exhibitions

DOCUMENTING THE UPRISING that spilled into the streets of Baltimore in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray while he was in police custody, Devin Allen evolved from an amateur to a nationally recognized photographer. His unforgettable image of the city’s painful reaction to Gray’s death graced the cover of the May 11, 2015, issue of Time magazine. Soon after, he became the first-ever recipient of a Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2017). With a new wave of protests sparked by the latest string of police killings, Allen nabbed a second Time cover. Now his images are being showcased by his hometown. “The Beautiful Journey: The Lens of Devin Allen” is the first virtual exhibition presented by The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall. An array of black-and-white images are on view, exploring Allen’s love of the city and its residents, it’s challenges and charm. Narrative captions by D. Watkins and Kondwani Fidel accompany the presentation. In a statement about the exhibition, Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said: “Devin made history when one of his photos landed on the cover of Time magazine. Today, he takes us on a beautiful and virtual journey of Baltimore City through the lens of his camera. So, stay inside, stay safe, and enjoy this fantastic journey of our beloved Baltimore from home.” CT


The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall is presenting its first online exhibition, “The Beautiful Journey: The Lens of Devin Allen,” May 7, 2020-Jan. 15, 2021

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Devin Allen. | Courtesy of the artist


Bow Down, 2015. © Devin Allen. | “It didn’t take me long to realize that the harder I rocked my crown, the more it kept me away from the church. Everyone wanted us to act, dress, and talk a certain way in order to be accepted. But we had our own language. That’s when I knew that Heaven was just as far and expensive as New York was to me and my friends. Even though we ere considered “outsiders,” we still got on our knees and prayed, daily.” — Kondwani Fidel


Spherical Man, © Devin Allen. | “The light was always ahead of us, reminding us of the beauty in our imperfections.” — Kondwani Fidel


The Flag, 2015. © Devin Allen. | “America, land of the free, home of the slaves.” — D. Watkins


FIND MORE Explore Devin Allen’s work on Instagram


Devin Allen published “A Beautiful Ghetto” in 2017. The volume brings together his documentary images of the uprisings that broke out in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death while he was in police custody and captivating portraits of everyday life in the city. Contextualizing the images, the book includes contributions by Wes Moore, Aaron Bryant, Gail Allen Kearney, Tariq Toure, Keeanga Yamahttah Taylor, and D. Watkins, who provided captions for the exhibition.


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