Photographer Deana Lawson comes to BAM to celebrate the launch of her first book. Lawson is joined by artist Torkwase Dyson to discuss Deana Lawson: An Aperture Monograph (published by Aperture), which features 40 beautifully reproduced photographs, an essay by the novelist Zadie Smith, and an expansive conversation with the artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa.
Lawson is one of the most compelling photographers of her generation. Over the last 10 years, she has created a visionary language to describe identities through intimate portraiture and striking accounts of ceremonies and rituals. Using medium- and large-format cameras, Lawson works with models she meets in the US and on travels in the Caribbean and Africa to construct arresting, highly structured, and deliberately theatrical scenes animated by an exquisite range of color and attention to surprising details: bedding and furniture in domestic interiors or lush plants in Edenic gardens. Throughout her work, which invites comparison to the photography of Diane Arbus, Jeff Wall, and Carrie Mae Weems, Lawson seeks to portray the personal and the powerful.