Spike Magazine: Aurel Haize Odogbo
For Odogbo's debut solo show at Deli Gallery in Mexico City, Spike asked Slant Rhyme to conduct an interview. Slant asked me to shoot portraits of Aurel to accompany the piece.
Producer: Slant Rhyme
Stylist: Destiny Be
“When I started this, I believed in making photos that looked idyllic. Not anymore. Nothing about this project has been idyllic. I don’t want to be the representative of the “gay, inter-generational, inter-racial couple”
In 2015, while visiting Paris, I made a set of innocuous pictures of local kids playing basketball. Around the same time, I was taking my naïve first steps into commercial photo. Shortly after this Paris trip, I’d publish my photos on social media, and they would garner some clout as “Paris Youth"—two magazines would publish them, and other outlets would share or re-share.
Years would go by, and I'd publish and un-published a handful of websites, flow in and out of commercial work, move house dozens of times—all the while continuing to make photographs. "Paris, Youth" would define me, and new collaborators would reference that series—hinting to say “recreate this”. They sought to capitalize on what they thought I was.
Yet, I somehow never measured up to the precedent I set for myself back in 2015. Who I was in 2015, at 17 years old, was wildly more simple than who I am today. youth, revised is my way of reclaiming myself outside of my "youth". So, this collection is a memorial, in some way.
To my mind, it indicates many things: a reconciliation with one's legacy of “youth”; a memorial to Life’s “youngness”—an ability to be or not be without condition; or a memorial to the essence of Life fragmented and scattered amongst the global-social order, lost in our emphasis on commodity-oriented being within techno-capital.
Carriers: The Body as a Site of Danger and Desire
Steven Matijcio and Tyler Blackwell at the Blaffer Museum, University of Houston, invited me to contribute to a group show at the dawn of 2021.
As the title states, the project interrogated questions on the body. Tyler has seen my images of men elsewhere and decided he'd like to see them installed in the gallery.
Following the line of my earlier group show “9”, I showed more of the large prints of intimate photographs.
“9” at Fotofest Houston
Terry Suprean organized and curated the show “9” which opened at Sawyer Yards, Houston. I decided to show a small collection prints, very intimate images created between 2018 and 2020.
There is Enough for Everyone
June + October, 2019
TIEFE was a series of events produced and curated by myself and Michael Stevenson in Houston, along with the Blaffer Museum.
Firstly TIEFE manifested as an organic warehouse exhibition lasting the month of June 2019, and featuring work from over 30 black and brown artists.
Later in October, Blaffer invited us to activate the courtyard of the Fine Arts building at University of Houston, so we presented a night of performances by five artists.
The night of performances was then memorialized on the lobby walls of Blaffer with images created on that night in October.
After living in Berlin for a few months, the story of Hambacher Forest near Cologne had reached me. Guerilla activists took to the trees of the forest to prevent its destruction by the German multi-national energy corporation RWE.
The area is rich in brown coal—a notably more toxic variety than black coal—and had already seen large-scale excavations by 120 meter tall rigs.
Violence hung in the air, especially felt during a cloudy week in January, and the activists tirelessly refused to allow RWE to destroy “Hambi”. In German, the word bleibt means “stay”, and the phase Hambi Bleibt became titular for resistance.
On a construction site at 66 Kiefholzstraße in Berlin, I scoured the site for discarded materials, built this hand using plastic and wire, then hoisted the sculpture into space within a passage way.
Around the entrance to the passage, I arranged some wood into a pattern. After finishing the installation, I left it there for the construction workers to find.
Grey plastic sheeting bound in steel wire, 2x4 wood fragments
ArtReview: Mark Bradford
Portraits created of Mark Bradford for the May 2017 issue of ArtReview magazine.
John Morgan, Louis Lewis, Tyler Swanner
Using discarded objects and materials that I found around Los Angeles, I tasked myself with creating functional sculptures. I consider these to be prototypes of something I may explore again in the future.
Bent and welded steel frame, hand-sewn latex zipper shade
Rope-bound fragment of a concrete block, rope, Plaster of Paris, pulleys, 1/4 threaded rods, drywall tape
“Monument: Family at the Starlight Theatre”
Balboa Park in San Diego, CA is home to a now defunct amphitheater called the Starlight Bowl. On a slow afternoon, I wondered onto the stage and began arranging items. There were several hats and a jacket amongst the rubble, they immediately personified the arrangement turning them into their own beings, allowing them to become a well-dressed family in decay
Draped yellow velvet curtain, white sun hat with floral brooch, three black chairs, blue and white striped seersucker sportscoat, orange wooden cylinder, patterned carpet fragment, three straw bowler hats, corn broom