The New Black Vanguard presents artists whose vivid portraits and conceptual images merge art and fashion photography, and break down long-established boundaries. Their work has been featured widely in fashion and society magazines, advertising campaigns and museums, as well as on their own social networks, re-instilling the contemporary visual vocabulary around beauty and the body with new vitality and substance.These images open up the conversation around the representation of the black body and black lives as subjects. Collectively, they celebrate black creativity and the hybridization of art, fashion and culture in the construction of an image. Seeking to challenge the idea that the black world is homogenous, the works serve as a form of visual activism. This is a perspective often found in this loose movement of emerging talents, who create photographs in very different contexts ­– New York and Johannesburg, Lagos and London. The results ­– often made in collaboration with black stylists and fashion designers – present new perspectives on the medium of photography and notions of race and beauty, gender, and power.

This exhibition includes a selection of works by these groundbreaking contemporary photographers, as well as a wall of images created by other young black photographers who are contributing to the movement. Showcases of publications, past and present, contextualise these images and trace the history of inclusion and exclusion, in the creation of the black commercial image, while proposing a brilliantly rethought future.

An exhibition conducted in collaboration with Apreture, New York.