As We See It: Artists Redefining Black Identity

Laurence King. Feb. 2023. 192p. ISBN 9781786279583. $40. FINE ARTS
Thirty international Black contemporary artists, mostly photographers, fill this light intro to the heavy topic of striking POVs in the context of pressing societal struggles. London-based arts and culture writer Amoako, known for her online art essays, draws on very recent texts to set the stage for her encyclopedic-type entries that characterize and somewhat interpret their work, often through the lens of her interest in mythology. While it is unclear how most were chosen for inclusion, nevertheless, the author curates an attractive but slim presentation, reminiscent of Taschen’s “Art Now” contemporary artists series. Skimpy “Further Reading” and “Endnotes” (with broken links) sections preclude scholarly focus. The many photographs make this an enticing point of departure for popular appreciation.
VERDICT This is an attractively illustrated global travelogue featuring a selective group of contemporary Black artists with a slim, interpretative look at theme and technique based on information culled mostly from websites and a few recent texts. A handy, colorful start for art students in particular, to explore how Black culture is being redefined through popular expression.
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