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The exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London highlights fifteen international photographers who are liberating the black figure from imagery dominated by white aesthetics. 

© Dana Sgruss
© Campbell Addy

The New Black Vanguard continues to break down established societal dictates, celebrating black creativity in front of and behind the lens. Photographic works include black stylists, models, makeup artists, and creative directors, who also work towards this fresh look, curated by Antwaun Sargent. Through this exhibition, supported by Burberry, the American writer, editor, and curator explores this new aesthetic of black portraiture at the intersection of art, fashion, and culture in the creation of images. But also the representation of the black body as a subject. Among the emerging talents, Campbell Addy, Tyler Mitchell, Renell Medrano, and Nadine Ijewere offer, between campaigns and editorials, this “form of visual activism” immersed in different contexts (New York, Johannesburg, Lagos, London …).

Future rethought

The photographs reveal new perspectives on notions of race, beauty, gender, and power, while tracing the history of inclusion and exclusion, to better reassess the creation of the black commercial image.

© Tyler Mitchell
© Renell Medrano

In particular, Antwaun Sargent presents “New Gazes II” in a space dedicated to works created in partnership with Burberry. Through photos and videos, artists redefine the importance of the black figure as a new ideal in contemporary culture. Examples include Bolade Banjo, Kwabena Sekyi-Appiah-Nti, Micaiah Carter, Kennedi Carter, and Liz Johnson Artur. The Saatchi Gallery’s intention in this learning program, backed by the British luxury house, is to support not only the activities on the theme of the exhibition, but also to expand the multiple possibilities in the fields of photography, art, and fashion.

Exhibition The New Black Vanguard

Saatchi Gallery in London

Until January 22, 2023

Nathalie Dassa