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Exploring art by and about people of African descent, primarily through the lens of books, magazines and catalogs, Culture Type features original research and reporting and shares invaluable interestingness culled from the published record on black art.

Magazines
Literary Collective: Considering the James Baldwins and Langston Hugheses of Our Times

Literary Collective: Considering the James Baldwins and Langston Hugheses of Our Times

Oct. 15, 2018: Writers gather at the Brooklyn Historical Society   WATCHING “MOONLIGHT” in theaters across the nation, American audiences were reminded of the power of black male storytelling. The screenplay for the 2016 film was written by Barry Jenkins and adapted from a semi-autobiographical stage play by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The story follows the...
Art + Practice Co-Founder Eileen Harris Norton Gives Her Art-Filled Home a Refresh

Art + Practice Co-Founder Eileen Harris Norton Gives Her Art-Filled Home a Refresh

Eileen Harris Norton at home with works by Alma Thomas and Kara Walker.   OVER THE FIREPLACE, an Alma Thomas (1891-1978) painting shares the mantel with a small sculpture by Kara Walker. Elsewhere in the home a Kerry James Marshall work hangs adjacent to a Glenn Ligon neon that reads “negro sunshine.” The November issue...
Power 100: Artist Kerry James Marshall Ranked No. 2 Most Influential Person in Contemporary Art World

Power 100: Artist Kerry James Marshall Ranked No. 2 Most Influential Person in Contemporary Art World

THE SECOND MOST POWERFUL person in the contemporary art world is Chicago painter Kerry James Marshall, according to Art Review magazine. The London-based publication issues an annual Power 100 list ranking the most influential figures in the contemporary art world. The list includes artists, curators, critics, collectors, and dealers, among others. Marshall is the top...
The New York Times Recognizes the Greatness of Carrie Mae Weems

The New York Times Recognizes the Greatness of Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems photographed by Mickalene Thomas for The New York Times   WHAT DETERMINES GREATNESS? In her introductory note about how the six people featured in “T” magazine’s 2018 Greats issue were selected, Hanya Yanagihara, editor of the New York Times style publication, admits “there is no real metric for greatness.” The candidates could...
Deana Lawson Photographed Rihanna For New Issue of Garage Magazine and Told Arthur Jafa Her Origin Story

Deana Lawson Photographed Rihanna For New Issue of Garage Magazine and Told Arthur Jafa Her Origin Story

  FANS OF RIHANNA will be thrilled to see her on another magazine cover. This latest one is photographed by Deana Lawson, a black female artist with a distinct approach to capturing her subjects, usually ordinary people in their everyday surroundings. Admirers of Lawson will be doubly appreciative. Garage Issue 15 is manna for Lawson...
Carrie Mae Weems Photographed Spike Lee for Time Magazine

Carrie Mae Weems Photographed Spike Lee for Time Magazine

Spike Lee photographed by Carrie Mae Weems   SPIKE LEE was on Martha’s Vineyard in July. He was there to film scenes for season two of his Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It,” hang out with a reporter writing about him for Time magazine, and have a portrait made by artist Carrie Mae Weems. Lee...
Inspired by Charles White, Kadir Nelson Delivers Last-Minute Aretha Franklin Cover for The New Yorker

Inspired by Charles White, Kadir Nelson Delivers Last-Minute Aretha Franklin Cover for The New Yorker

  A FEW HOURS after Aretha Franklin died yesterday morning, Kadir Nelson delivered an illustration of the Queen of Soul that will grace the cover of The New Yorker magazine’s Aug. 27 issue. The emotional illustration depicts Franklin in profile. Wearing a choir robe, her head is thrown back as she belts out a song....
Cover Stars: For its September Fall Fashion Issues, Vogue is all About Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Making Long-Overdue History

Cover Stars: For its September Fall Fashion Issues, Vogue is all About Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Making Long-Overdue History

  FOR THE FIRST TIME in its 126-year history, a black photographer is shooting the cover of American Vogue, and not just any issue, the all-important fall fashion issue. The long overdue milestone is happening at the behest of Beyoncé, who will grace the magazine’s September cover. She selected Tyler Mitchell, a young photographer, originally...
After Acquiring 80+ Images by Gordon Parks, Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean Pose for Portrait Intended as Homage to the Pioneering Photographer

After Acquiring 80+ Images by Gordon Parks, Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean Pose for Portrait Intended as Homage to the Pioneering Photographer

  THE LATEST EDITION of Cultured Magazine features Alicia Keys-Dean and Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean. The married couple posed for their first-ever cover together for the magazine’s July/August 2018 issue. In the accompanying article by Rebecca Bengal, the increasingly influential art collectors and music industry powerhouses discuss their relationship with each other, their connections with...
Fresh From Art School, Illustrator Loveis Wise Lands New Yorker Cover

Fresh From Art School, Illustrator Loveis Wise Lands New Yorker Cover

The cover for the New Yorker’s new fiction issue is illustrated by Loveis Wise.   THE LATEST EDITION of The New Yorker features a black mother and child on the cover. The image by Loveis Wise illustrates the magazine’s new Fiction Issue, a double issue dated June 4 and June 11. Wise, who graduated from...
Kadir Nelson Channels Nostalgic Brooklyn with Stickball Cover for The New Yorker

Kadir Nelson Channels Nostalgic Brooklyn with Stickball Cover for The New Yorker

“Stickball Alley” by Kadir Nelson   THERE IS A REAL SENSE OF NOSTALGIA in Kadir Nelson‘s image of a young African American boy in a striped shirt and blue cap emblazoned with a “B.” Holding a stick drawn back toward his right shoulder, he stares intently awaiting the pitch of the ball. In the background,...
The Atlantic Explores Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy Through a Contemporary Lens, with Contributions From Artists LaToya Ruby Frazier and Kara Walker

The Atlantic Explores Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy Through a Contemporary Lens, with Contributions From Artists LaToya Ruby Frazier and Kara Walker

KARA WALKER, “Dr. King,” 2015   THE YEAR 2018 coincides with many historic milestones. It’s been a half century since the Studio Museum in Harlem was founded, the Chicago artist collective AFRICOBRA was formed, Olympic track athletes raised their fists at the Mexico City games in a stand for racial justice, and the Kerner Commission...
New Artforum Editor Describes Kia LaBeija as 'An Artist I Immediately Needed Know'

New Artforum Editor Describes Kia LaBeija as ‘An Artist I Immediately Needed Know’

  AN AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHIC SELF-PORTRAIT by Kia LaBeija covers the January issue of Artforum. LaBeija is a young African American artist who describes her practice as exploring “her personal narrative and the relationship between space, trauma, and the female body.” David Velasco, the new editor of Artforum, says he saw LaBeija’s work for the first...
Meeting of Minds: Times Style Magazine Brings Together Jay Z, Artist Henry Taylor, and Editor Dean Baquet

Meeting of Minds: Times Style Magazine Brings Together Jay Z, Artist Henry Taylor, and Editor Dean Baquet

  JAY Z IS FEATURED on the latest cover of T magazine, the New York Times style publication. A painting by Henry Taylor,—a portrait of the rapper, music mogul, and business man—illustrates a wide-ranging interview conducted by Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times. The newspaper’s top editor doesn’t often stray from his leadership...