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Reflections of a People: Photographs from the Archive of Jamel Shabazz

Image credits: Jamel Shabazz, Salute, 1995, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist.

Past Exhibition
  • About This Exhibition

    Curated by Dexter Wimberly

    Jamel Shabazz is a rare photographer whose work stands as a testament to the lived experiences of Black people in America for over 40 years. His impressive oeuvre is engaging and highly recognizable. This exhibition brings together selections from Shabazz's extensive archive of photographs.

    The son of a veteran, Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He picked up his first camera at the age of 15 and soon after began photographing his friends and relatives. As Shabazz's practice evolved, the streets and the New York City subway system also became the backdrop for many of his photographs. Shabazz has drawn inspiration from noted studio and documentary photographers, most influentially Leonard Freed, as well as James VanDerZee, Gordon Parks, Robert Capa, and Eli Reed.

    Shabazz has stated that his goal is to contribute to the preservation of world history and culture. Reflections of a People offers a glimpse into a past time and place, capturing moments of Black life for future generations.

    This exhibition is presented by PNC.

  • Reflections of a People Playlist

    Jamel curates playlists for exhibitions that showcase his work. He assembled the playlist below for Reflections of a People.

    Jamel explained during Homage to the Black South: Art and Culture Appreciation Series – In Conversation with Jamel Shabazz: "The music component is very important to everything I do because it puts you on a similar frequency I was on at the time of creating those photographs. A lot of my enlightening came from the music back in the days... Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Freda Payne... Throughout my life music was always there and it educated me. During my travels, I always had music with me. Not only do I want people to be stimulated visually, but I want your ears to be stimulated. I want you to take in what I was feeling. Every playlist I make is tailor-made for a particular exhibition."

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