A former sociology student, Jordan Casteel paints from everyday life, using her portraits to tells stories about people in the communities where she lives and works. She has painted former Yale classmates, street vendors on her block in Harlem, and students she teaches at Rutgers University. Often, she chooses African-American men as subjects, but she paints them in moments of repose, quiet, vulnerability—and with real tenderness. In this way Casteel challenges misconceptions and stereotypes about blackness. —E.C.
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