I asked respected art figures like Lowery Stokes Sims, Deborah Willis, and Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi to share a beloved artist with me.
Photographer, curator, educator, and academic who founded the Center for Black Visual Culture at New York University.
“I would like for you to consider Adama Delphine Fawundu. I have known Delphine for over fifteen years as a photographer. My initial encounter with her began when I was looking for photographers to include in my book, Black: A Celebration of a Culture in 2005. I was interested specifically in her body of work documenting the global hip hop scene. She is someone who cares deeply about her audience, the general public, and her fellow photographers not only in terms of their understanding of global issues focusing on hip hop music and the talents of men and women in Africa and the U.S., but also in terms of the community activism deconstructing images of black women. Deconstructing SHE is one of her projects that I’ve included in an exhibition recently. Itexamines the destructive impact of the media on ideas of beauty and self.
“She is an activist-artist who continues to impress me with her work through the visual experience, her writings, and her talks. She presents engaging arguments on the music scene and images on the black female body. In her work and on her blog, she is, in my view, creating a space for discussions focusing on images on black music, the black body, and social justice. For Delphine, creativity and scholarship are both necessary to make change. Delphine borrows from popular culture and history as she plays with the illusions of the viewer and the role of the photograph in recording perceptions of idealized beauty. I look forward to seeing her work published more and exhibited widely.”