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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Deana Lawson


Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston / Art

Deana Lawson takes photographs of strangers. She wants to highlight the aesthetics of Black identity and culture. It’s a “mythological extended family,” she explains. Many of her subjects remind Lawson of someone she’s met or known in the past. She selects them at random, perhaps on a street or in a café, and shoots the large-scale pictures in a choreographed setting, dictating lighting, decor, and pose. A textured carpet, patterned pillows, or an unconventional outfit creates scenes reminiscent of historical portraiture. “I describe it as time-stopping,” Lawson says. Some of the final products are embedded with holograms, which imbues them with hidden energy. This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to Lawson’s work. —E.C.

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Institute of Contemporary Art 25 Harbor Shore Dr, Boston, MA 02210
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