My America

Addressing themes of family culture legacy and the black experience

Words by

Obscura Gallery

© Rashod Taylor

Obscura Gallery presents the solo exhibition, My America, by fine art portrait photographer Rashod Taylor. The exhibition includes his two poignant and sensitive projects, Little Black Boy and MyAmerica. Through “wet” darkroom printing methods including the 19th Century wet-plate collodion process, as well as the enlarging process on traditional gelatin silver paper, the artist uses portraiture to express themes of family, culture, legacy, and the black experience.

© Rashod Taylor

The intimate portrait series Little Black Boy centers on Rashod Taylor’s son, LJ, examining from the photographer’s own perspective both LJ’s childhood and the world he navigates. Taylor’s images reflect his unspoken anxiety over his son’s well-being and his own fatherhood.

© Rashod Taylor

Like many first-time fathers, Rashod Taylor began taking photographs of his son, LJ, when he was born. Eventually, though, he began to think there might be more to the photographs than family snapshots, and he began gently choreographing his (mostly) cooperative son in images that lovingly portray mundane moments from his life. The photographs, which sometimes includeTaylor himself or his wife, are tender, intimate images of a Black family raising a Black boy in theUnited States. – excerpt from Photograph Magazine interview in May 2022 with Rashod Taylor by Jean Dykstra.

© Rashod Taylor

“At times I worry if he will be ok as he goes to school or as he plays outside with friends as children do. These feelings are enhanced due to the realities of growing up black in America. He can’t live a carefree childhood as he deserves; there is a weight that comes with his blackness, a weight that he is not ready to bear. It’s my job to bear this weight as I am accustomed to the sorrows and responsibility it brings- the weight of injustice, prejudices, and racism that has been interwoven in our society and institutional systems for hundreds of years. I help him through this journey of childhood as I hope one day this weight will be lifted.” – Rashod Taylor

© Rashod Taylor

"It's one of those things that while I am a very proud American and glad I live in this great country," Taylor said in a CNN interview on June 17, 2022, "but at the same time, it's almost like a daily struggle because you live in a place where people with black and brown skin are still not treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve."

© Rashod Taylor

Taylor says he wants America to view LJ like any other child who loves to swim, build forts, play soccer, video games and watch cooking shows. He's raising LJ to be an upstanding man who knows he is smart and strong, who treats others the way he wants to be treated. At the same time, Taylor said he will always remind LJ that he is Black. He will teach him to keep his hands on the steering wheel if he is ever pulled over by police and to avoid wearing hoodies when walking around at night. He sometimes thinks about Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice -- two innocent, young Black boys who left home and never made it back to their parents. "There's this idea that I can lose him in an instant and I can't control that," Taylor said.

more information
Obscura Gallery
The exhibition is on view September 23 through November 20, 2022.

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My America

Addressing themes of family culture legacy and the black experience

Words by

Obscura Gallery

© Rashod Taylor

Obscura Gallery presents the solo exhibition, My America, by fine art portrait photographer Rashod Taylor. The exhibition includes his two poignant and sensitive projects, Little Black Boy and MyAmerica. Through “wet” darkroom printing methods including the 19th Century wet-plate collodion process, as well as the enlarging process on traditional gelatin silver paper, the artist uses portraiture to express themes of family, culture, legacy, and the black experience.

© Rashod Taylor

The intimate portrait series Little Black Boy centers on Rashod Taylor’s son, LJ, examining from the photographer’s own perspective both LJ’s childhood and the world he navigates. Taylor’s images reflect his unspoken anxiety over his son’s well-being and his own fatherhood.

© Rashod Taylor

Like many first-time fathers, Rashod Taylor began taking photographs of his son, LJ, when he was born. Eventually, though, he began to think there might be more to the photographs than family snapshots, and he began gently choreographing his (mostly) cooperative son in images that lovingly portray mundane moments from his life. The photographs, which sometimes includeTaylor himself or his wife, are tender, intimate images of a Black family raising a Black boy in theUnited States. – excerpt from Photograph Magazine interview in May 2022 with Rashod Taylor by Jean Dykstra.

© Rashod Taylor

“At times I worry if he will be ok as he goes to school or as he plays outside with friends as children do. These feelings are enhanced due to the realities of growing up black in America. He can’t live a carefree childhood as he deserves; there is a weight that comes with his blackness, a weight that he is not ready to bear. It’s my job to bear this weight as I am accustomed to the sorrows and responsibility it brings- the weight of injustice, prejudices, and racism that has been interwoven in our society and institutional systems for hundreds of years. I help him through this journey of childhood as I hope one day this weight will be lifted.” – Rashod Taylor

© Rashod Taylor

"It's one of those things that while I am a very proud American and glad I live in this great country," Taylor said in a CNN interview on June 17, 2022, "but at the same time, it's almost like a daily struggle because you live in a place where people with black and brown skin are still not treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve."

© Rashod Taylor

Taylor says he wants America to view LJ like any other child who loves to swim, build forts, play soccer, video games and watch cooking shows. He's raising LJ to be an upstanding man who knows he is smart and strong, who treats others the way he wants to be treated. At the same time, Taylor said he will always remind LJ that he is Black. He will teach him to keep his hands on the steering wheel if he is ever pulled over by police and to avoid wearing hoodies when walking around at night. He sometimes thinks about Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice -- two innocent, young Black boys who left home and never made it back to their parents. "There's this idea that I can lose him in an instant and I can't control that," Taylor said.

more information
Obscura Gallery
The exhibition is on view September 23 through November 20, 2022.
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My America

Addressing themes of family culture legacy and the black experience

Words by

Obscura Gallery

© Rashod Taylor

Obscura Gallery presents the solo exhibition, My America, by fine art portrait photographer Rashod Taylor. The exhibition includes his two poignant and sensitive projects, Little Black Boy and MyAmerica. Through “wet” darkroom printing methods including the 19th Century wet-plate collodion process, as well as the enlarging process on traditional gelatin silver paper, the artist uses portraiture to express themes of family, culture, legacy, and the black experience.

© Rashod Taylor

The intimate portrait series Little Black Boy centers on Rashod Taylor’s son, LJ, examining from the photographer’s own perspective both LJ’s childhood and the world he navigates. Taylor’s images reflect his unspoken anxiety over his son’s well-being and his own fatherhood.

© Rashod Taylor

Like many first-time fathers, Rashod Taylor began taking photographs of his son, LJ, when he was born. Eventually, though, he began to think there might be more to the photographs than family snapshots, and he began gently choreographing his (mostly) cooperative son in images that lovingly portray mundane moments from his life. The photographs, which sometimes includeTaylor himself or his wife, are tender, intimate images of a Black family raising a Black boy in theUnited States. – excerpt from Photograph Magazine interview in May 2022 with Rashod Taylor by Jean Dykstra.

© Rashod Taylor

“At times I worry if he will be ok as he goes to school or as he plays outside with friends as children do. These feelings are enhanced due to the realities of growing up black in America. He can’t live a carefree childhood as he deserves; there is a weight that comes with his blackness, a weight that he is not ready to bear. It’s my job to bear this weight as I am accustomed to the sorrows and responsibility it brings- the weight of injustice, prejudices, and racism that has been interwoven in our society and institutional systems for hundreds of years. I help him through this journey of childhood as I hope one day this weight will be lifted.” – Rashod Taylor

© Rashod Taylor

"It's one of those things that while I am a very proud American and glad I live in this great country," Taylor said in a CNN interview on June 17, 2022, "but at the same time, it's almost like a daily struggle because you live in a place where people with black and brown skin are still not treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve."

© Rashod Taylor

Taylor says he wants America to view LJ like any other child who loves to swim, build forts, play soccer, video games and watch cooking shows. He's raising LJ to be an upstanding man who knows he is smart and strong, who treats others the way he wants to be treated. At the same time, Taylor said he will always remind LJ that he is Black. He will teach him to keep his hands on the steering wheel if he is ever pulled over by police and to avoid wearing hoodies when walking around at night. He sometimes thinks about Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice -- two innocent, young Black boys who left home and never made it back to their parents. "There's this idea that I can lose him in an instant and I can't control that," Taylor said.

more information
Obscura Gallery
The exhibition is on view September 23 through November 20, 2022.
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