ANDRE D. WAGNER
AMERICAN SURVEY PT: II "Tell It Like It Is"
READ the LA Times review of the exhibition HERE
In these photographs, I’m attempting to show an overlooked reality and richness of contemporary African-American life. My vision, is to show this as organic, transparent, and universal as possible. The images I’m creating are a direct response to a moment in time, along with my personal world views and understandings. My work stems from a mid-west sensibility, the love of ordinary day to day activity, and my firsthand experience in using blackness as a tool for survival. With these images, I’m able to provide you with a small glimpse of real everyday people, doing real activities before I entered the scene. By nature, I don’t always have the luxury of being welcomed or understood for my presence in a space, but it’s in the viewing of these photographs that I hope the on-looker gets an idea of what it is I witnessed and felt.
This form of photography is set apart from photojournalism and reportage. There is no beginning nor ending to this story. Life is ongoing, humanity and the human condition is ever-evolving. I walk outside everyday leaving myself open to the world and all that is has to show me. In return, life gives me many gifts, over and over again. I now share these gifts with you, as a vehicle to look at and discuss this reality further.
These images suggest the tug of war between life and what it means to be Black in America. It’s a study of relationships, the dynamics between mothers and their children, fathers and brotherhood, and the nature of family. It’s also a study of the Black and human experience. Sometimes this experience is very clear and vivid, and other times, it’s invisible right in plain sight. My calling is to capture both. This body of work is rooted in a universal humanity that all walking and living persons could relate to; it’s a view of the unseen commonality of us all.
American Survey is a 3 part curatorial idea that seeks to understand the consciousness of a country by asking or answering the following questions; "What is the consciousness of a county? How do we push this consciousness forward? How do we raise the vibrational frequency of a culture by educating the psyche?" Part I serves as a time capsule of 2015 and is meant to be a historical archive of a few the thoughts that permeate today's society.
All work printed by the artist in the darkroom
Paper: Ilford Multigrade Fiber Warmtone Double Weight
Edition of 7
All photos taken in 2014
Cameras Used: Leica M2 & Leica M6
The 11x14 framed is 15 x 19.25 the 16x20 framed is 19 x 25
Untitled, 16x20 Silver Gelatin, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Untitled, 16x20 Silver Gelatin, Harlem, New York
Untitled, 11x14 Silver Gelatin, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Untitled, 16x20 Silver Gelatin, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn