Fresh As ____: Photographic Meditations from the Black Vanguard (Regarding A New Esthetic)
Mar 25, 2022 – Mar 27, 2022
In honor of Black History, LACP is proud to produce the pop-up exhibition “Fresh As ____”: Photographic Meditations from the Black Vanguard (Regarding A New Esthetic)” The exhibition is curated by Los Angeles-based photographer Ali LeRoi and Philadelphia-based photographer Shawn Theodore. Six talented artists were carefully selected to participate.
The exhibition will be on display at Sovern, 5757 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016, showing March 25-27, 2022. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 7-10 pm PST, 2022. Please RSVP for the reception HERE.
Ali LeRoi is a true Renaissance Man. An award-winning writer/director/producer and artist, Ali works in film, television, and video, is an avid photographer and plays the bass on the side.
Shawn Theodore is an award-winning photographer whose work opens broad conversations regarding the role of the photographer in the shaping of agency and imagery, engages in new forms of storytelling, and impacts the trajectory of the collective black consciousness.
Fresh As ____ by Shawn Theodore
“Fresh, Fresh, Fresh, Yo that’s Fresh!
What does it mean in the Age of Black Excellence to be Fresh? Moreover, Fresh As Fuck? Who among us decides the quantity and quality of the less than 15 minutes of fame reserved for the most fly of the fly, the highest of the high?
The Black image, created by the Black eye is, from what I’ve heard, meant to be this distinct and separate world, immune from the power and gravity of the all-seeing white gaze. I call bullshit. That doesn’t mean that the vast amount of Black images made for, and living in, the contemporary space isn’t gratifying, they are. However, that gratification is a gritty windfall of fleeting satiations at best. Most of these images court the attention of the white gaze, inviting it to unveil its typical frenzy of sexualization, exploitation, and tropes in half-assed critiques and pantomimed allyship.
If this shocks you, I’m glad. There’s a silence that needs to be broken. Broken into pieces so small that we can’t find the matching edges to contort these terribly, terrifically masochistic partners back into their monstrously myopic and grotesquely symbiotic selves. So I ask again, what does it mean to be fresh.as.fuck??
From what I’ve heard, it means that the creator of an image is the image, and the image holds all of us, even the white gaze, suspended in a cloud of dense accountability. This isn’t about living up to cheeky mantras, upending Mammy memes, or chasing the dream by monetizing melanin, it’s about adding a stepping stone to that metaphorical mountain we’re all trying to get over. Martin, Baldwin, and a few other very astute niggas who I can’t remember seem to want us to get over the mountaintop. I remember that more than I remember those niggas names. Don’t kill the messenger, again. I haven’t finished this didactic.
Fresh As____ delivers on the idea that the Black image by the Black creative isn’t bound by a sense of presumed tradition or established archive. Blackness itself is an expression of fluidity. As an exclusively American invention, Blackness proves, in this exhibition, that it cannot be defined by anyone’s definitions, not even the creators of these works have a singular, independent grasp on what it means to be Black.
Sheeeeit….. it’s all just Fresh As Fuck.” – Shawn Theodore
Sovern, 5757 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Opening Night Reception
Thursday, March 24, 7-10 pm PST, 2022. RSVP Here
Friday, March 25, 10 am – 5 pm PST
Saturday, March 26, 10 am -5 pm PST
Sunday, March 27, 11 am – 5 pm PST