“The first time I picked up that camera, I thought, ‘Oh, okay. This is my tool. This is it.’” — Carrie Mae Weems
Carrie Mae Weems is widely considered to be one of the most influential contemporary artists of recent history. While she is best known for her photography, Weems also works in text, fabric, audio, digital images, and installation video. She’s a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship (or “Genius Grant”), the first Black woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim and has even been cited as an influence for Beyonce’s “Lemonade” visuals.
Weem’s work primarily features Black subjects and focuses on issues facing Black community like poverty, violence, and racism. Her photography project, “The Kitchen Table Series,” helped cast her into the public eye and remains one of her most famous bodies of work to date.
“[My father] would say, ‘There’s no man greater than you. You are greater than no other man.’ This is the bedrock of my understanding, the bedrock of my belief system that really was instilled very, very early in my life, and repeated throughout my life, this idea that we had a right to be there. So, if I arrive at some sort of big, fancy gala, I always feel really comfortable. It just doesn’t really matter who is in the room,” Weems said in an interview with the New York Times.
Read more about the artist on her website, carriemaeweems.net
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