Reflections: Intimate Portraits of Iconic African Americans
WHEN: Thursday February 1, 201, through August 12, 2018, Noon - 5pm
WHERE: Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore
Think about the various rooms in your home - your living room, bedroom, office, etc.
Think about the items that you have in these rooms. Are there paintings, sculptures, records, sports equipment, posters or toys? Do you think the things we surround ourselves with are a “reflection” of who we are?
Reflections: Intimate Portraits of African Americans is a documentary-style series of photographs that differ from traditional portraiture. Instead of a single, close-up, posed portrait of the person, photographer Terrence A. Reese (TAR), takes black and white photographs of renowned Americans in their personal living spaces—environments which reflect their persona. The density of the living spaces sometimes makes it difficult to find the subject, but the viewer is rewarded by analyzing the photographs to imagine a life well-lived. Reese also strategically places mirrors or reflective surfaces in the photographs to reveal the subjects in rich and interesting ways.
These unusual portraits liberate the eye to move about within the boundaries of the image, not encompassing it all in one glance. The exercise reveals the unforeseen and true nature of the individual. It is the challenge of locating the subject's image in the mirror that becomes an intriguing and rewarding experience while exploring their space, their physical extension of self. Each image is accompanied by the photographer’s personal written memoir which reveals a creative collaboration of dialogue that culminates into an emergence of art.
The collection of more than 45 portraits includes a network of luminaries such as legendary photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks, dancers Harold and Fayard Nicholas, civil rights activist Daisy Bates, media mogul Catherine Hughes, and others.
Can you find the icon in the mirror?
Reflections of Baltimore
Extending the theme of reflections and perceptions as it relates to how we view various people, places and things, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum presents Reflections of Baltimore, a community curated space where artists, activists, residents and casual observers can present their reflection of Baltimore.
“Reflections of Baltimore is designed to serve as a social laboratory offering a safe space for the community to respond to how they perceive Charm City,” remarked Charles Bethea, Director of Collections and Exhibitions the architect of this community curated project. “Over the last several years, the people of Baltimore have seen their city in the national spotlight from a controversial death of an unarmed Blackman that led to an Uprising, children in huddled in classrooms without heat, and a patient discharged on the street in the dead of winter in nothing more than a hospital gown, and we (the RFLM) are taking a proactive role in shaping the narrative of our home city,” Bethea continued.
Working with several local artists and photographers, Reflections of Baltimore will be an organic workspace featuring live art creations and interactive opportunities for community dialogue on the perception of Baltimore. Through each addition to the space, the gallery will transform with different perspectives, view points and presentations through August.
Reflections of Baltimore is being presented in conjunction with Reflections: Intimate Portraits of African Americans. Visitors will be able to view unique portraits of iconic African Americans surrounded by material objects that are extensions of how each perceives themselves and then view or participate in the community curated gallery shaping the perception of the city of Baltimore.
About the Reginald F. Lewis Museum
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is Maryland’s largest museum dedicated to the State’s African American experience. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum engages visitors through its permanent and special exhibitions, resource center, as well as programs such as its film series, live music performances, and family programming. Talks & Thoughts is a new community-centric public forum offering barbershop-style open discourse on current events that have an impact on the African American community. For more information visit www.lewismuseum.org and follow us on IG/ Twitter @lewismuseum.