Like Goya Turning His Eye Toward the Struggles and Triumphs of Black America

Photo: LaToya Ruby Frazier/Courtesy the Artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise; New York / Rome.



February 9, 2018
by Jerry Saltz

In the searingly honest, empathetic documentary images of self-described “artist, curator, educator, and photographer” LaToya Ruby Frazier, I see the rotten social malignancy that perpetuates entrenched racial discrimination that is deeply inscribed into law, lending, and health-care policies.

I also see obdurate white tribalism, the 55 percent of all white people and 75 percent of all Republicans who think that racial discrimination persists … but that it’s against white people.

I look at Frazier’s beautiful activist art — depictions of people with the courage and strength to live life amid Trumpian statecraft and everything that made it possible and consistent with our often-airbrushed history — and I behold an aesthetic passionate enough to possibly jar the art world from its ten-year fixation on insular formalist photography-about-photography. The films, texts, and photographs of this 2015 MacArthur “genius” give us one of the strongest artists to emerge in this country this century — a 36-year-old oracle calling for a new engaged “movement in photography” that bears witness to our state-sanctioned economic racism and environmental horrors.

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Courtesy of: Vulture