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A blog focused on visual art from a Black perspective, Culture Type explores the intersection of art, history, and culture

Magazines
Theaster Gates Reflects on His Johnson Publishing Project: 'To Me the Photographic Images Were Waiting on Their Next Life'

Theaster Gates Reflects on His Johnson Publishing Project: ‘To Me the Photographic Images Were Waiting on Their Next Life’

  A DENSE GATHERING of mostly African Americans, well-dressed for a day of national mourning, covers the fall 2020 edition of Gagosian Quarterly. The black-and-white photograph is by Moneta Sleet Jr. (1926-1996), a bird’s eye view captured at the public funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., in April 1968. The photograph is part of the...
Paintings by Jordan Casteel and Kerry James Marshall Cover September Issue of Vogue

Paintings by Jordan Casteel and Kerry James Marshall Cover September Issue of Vogue

  THE FALL FASHION ISSUE of American Vogue features not one but two paintings by Black artists. Kerry James Marshall and Jordan Casteel were commissioned to produce cover images for the September 2020 edition. The artists were given considerable creative freedom and came up with two very different fashion-inspired portraits that reflect their individual practices....
Amy Sherald Painted a Portrait of Breonna Taylor for Vanity Fair: 'I Wanted it to Feel Ethereal But Grounded at the Same Time'

Amy Sherald Painted a Portrait of Breonna Taylor for Vanity Fair: ‘I Wanted it to Feel Ethereal But Grounded at the Same Time’

  A BEAUTIFUL PORTRAIT of Breonna Taylor looking regal and “ethereal” in a flowing blue-green gown graces the cover of the September 2020 issue of Vanity Fair. The portrait is a painting by Amy Sherald, a posthumous tribute commissioned by the magazine for The Great Fire, a special project guest edited by journalist and author...
Women's Suffrage: Grace Lynne Haynes Painted Sojourner Truth Using Vibrant Colors and Vividly Patterned Textiles to 'Make the Portrait Contemporary'

Women’s Suffrage: Grace Lynne Haynes Painted Sojourner Truth Using Vibrant Colors and Vividly Patterned Textiles to ‘Make the Portrait Contemporary’

ONE OF THE FIRST AMERICANS to employ photography as a promotional tool, Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) copyrighted her image and used it to help fund her “sojourns” as a traveling preacher. She sold cartes de visite bearing her image as souvenirs to those who came to hear her speak about the abolition of slavery and women’s...
September Issue: Oprah Magazine Enlists Two Black Female Artists to Pay Tribute to Breonna Taylor

September Issue: Oprah Magazine Enlists Two Black Female Artists to Pay Tribute to Breonna Taylor

 
The New Yorker: Kadir Nelson's 'Distant Summer' Cover Invokes Pandemic Protocol, Frivolity of Youth, and American Symbolism

The New Yorker: Kadir Nelson’s ‘Distant Summer’ Cover Invokes Pandemic Protocol, Frivolity of Youth, and American Symbolism

“Distant Summer” by Kadir Nelson. | The New Yorker, July 6 and July 3, 2020   SHORTLY AFTER DELIVERING a sobering cover documenting the history of racial injustice, violence, and killing endured by Africa Americans throughout U.S. history, culminating with the murder of George Floyd, Kadir Nelson produced an homage to childhood summer joy. The...
Charly Palmer is Latest Artist Tapped to Illustrate Cover of Time Magazine, Providing Image for 'America Must Change' Issue

Charly Palmer is Latest Artist Tapped to Illustrate Cover of Time Magazine, Providing Image for ‘America Must Change’ Issue

  MAINSTREAM INSTITUTIONS have responded in a variety of ways to the nationwide focus on race, racial justice, and policing. Time magazine’s reaction has been to pair its news coverage of the unfolding events with covers by African American artists. Charly Palmer is the latest tapped for the assignment. In the wake of protests following...
Kadir Nelson's New Yorker Cover is a Monument to George Floyd and Reminder of Long History of Violence Against Black People in America

Kadir Nelson’s New Yorker Cover is a Monument to George Floyd and Reminder of Long History of Violence Against Black People in America

  THE BANNER FLAG HANGING outside a window at the NAACP’s Fifth Avenue headquarters in New York City declaring “A Man Was Lynched Yesterday.” Emmett Till’s big bright eyes and round smiling face before he was lynched and found dead in a river in Money, Miss., at age 14. The textured scars on the back...
Painter Titus Kaphar Focuses on a Black Mother's Loss for Time Magazine Cover About Police Killings and American Uprising

Painter Titus Kaphar Focuses on a Black Mother’s Loss for Time Magazine Cover About Police Killings and American Uprising

  REPRESENTING THE SORROW of generations, Titus Kaphar painted a black mother for the cover of Time magazine. Her eyes are closed in anguish. She holds her young son, but he is not there. The artist has cut the child from the canvas. All that remains is an empty silhouette. “In her expression, I see...
The New York Times Asked African American Creatives About the Black Art That Inspires Them. Here is What They Said

The New York Times Asked African American Creatives About the Black Art That Inspires Them. Here is What They Said

Trailer: “Get Out” (2017), Written and Directed by Jordan Peele. | Video by Universal Pictures   ‘GET OUT’ was “a phenomenal piece of work,” artist Kerry James Marshall said. Kenya Barris, the television writer and producer, is drawn to the neon work “Double America 2” (2014) by Glenn Ligon. “The simplicity of it is radical...
Time Magazine Recognizes 100 Years of Influential Women with Covers by Mickalene Thomas, Bisa Butler, and Toyin Ojih Odutola

Time Magazine Recognizes 100 Years of Influential Women with Covers by Mickalene Thomas, Bisa Butler, and Toyin Ojih Odutola

  TIME MAGAZINE is exploring the most influential women of the past century. 2020 marks 100 years since women gained the right to vote in the United States. To recognize the milestone that transformed women’s individual and collective agency, the magazine launched a project called 100 Women of the Year.   1969: Marsha Johnson by...
Faith Ringgold Painting Covers Artforum, Inside Kerry James Marshall Writes About 'Black Artists in Unexpected Places'

Faith Ringgold Painting Covers Artforum, Inside Kerry James Marshall Writes About ‘Black Artists in Unexpected Places’

  PICASSO’S “GUERNICA” (1937) is admired and respected by many artists, including Kerry James Marshall and Faith Ringgold. In 1980, Marshall’s first trip to New York—and first flight on an airplane—was made expressly to see the grand work on loan from Spain at the Museum of Modern Art. Ringgold has described “Guernica” as her favorite...
Cover Subject: Countering Historic Narratives, Derrick Adams Makes the Images He Wants to See in the World

Cover Subject: Countering Historic Narratives, Derrick Adams Makes the Images He Wants to See in the World

  BLACK PEOPLE FLOATING leisurely in pools are among the most recognizable images Derrick Adams has made in recent years. The brightly colored scenes in his Floaters series usually feature an individual figure lounging on an inflatable floater. “Floater 49” (2017), a mixed-media collage work from his Floaters series appears on the fall 2019 cover...
In an Interview Coinciding with His First Exhibition at Gagosian, Nathaniel Mary Quinn Tells Anderson Cooper: 'My Paintings Come to Me as Visions'

In an Interview Coinciding with His First Exhibition at Gagosian, Nathaniel Mary Quinn Tells Anderson Cooper: ‘My Paintings Come to Me as Visions’

    EXPLORING THE INTERSECTION of reality, memory, and perception, Nathaniel Mary Quinn paints composite portraits that read as collage. In actuality, they are produced with oil paint, gouache, charcoal, oil stick, and pastels in his own hand. He has said his fragmented and visually layered portraits are based on the faces of people he...
Summering with Mickalene Thomas: The Artist Turns to Nature and Good Friends for a Creative Charge

Summering with Mickalene Thomas: The Artist Turns to Nature and Good Friends for a Creative Charge

From the New York Times video: Pool Party | Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont   FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, Brooklyn-based Mickalene Thomas has decamped to a property in Salisbury, Conn., during “kids-away-from-school” time with Racquel Chevremont, her partner in work and life, and their three children. Purchased in 2013, Thomas calls the 19th century...
A Portrait of Faith Ringgold Painted by Alice Neel is Jordan Casteel's Favorite Artwork

A Portrait of Faith Ringgold Painted by Alice Neel is Jordan Casteel’s Favorite Artwork

  WORKS BY MORE THAN 60 ARTISTS, including Faith Ringgold, are featured in “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.” Nearly all the artists are black, except Virginia Jaramillo, Andy Warhol (1928-1987), and Alice Neel (1900-1984), who contributed a portrait of Ringgold to the landmark exhibition. Rinngold has said she posed...