https://griffinmuseum.org/show/justin-michael-emmanuel-a-facefull-of-mangoes/ Griffin Museum of Photography
67 Shore Road
Winchester, MA 01890
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Justin Michael Emmanuel | A Facefull of Mangoes
3 November - 4 December, 2022
Artist Reception 6 November, 2022 4 to 6 pm
Online Artist Talk 10 November, 2022 7pm Eastern / 4pm Pacific
With this photographic series, I present to the viewer a resistance to systemic racism and also a window into understanding what makes us human. I hope that by showing imagery of touch, warmth, laughter, and love, I may begin to unravel and break down any preconceived notions or ideas that do not give resonance to those qualities in regards to Blackness in the mind of the viewer. I am desperately attempting to declare my own humanity and have it recognized by others. By showing the gentle side of our human nature I am hopeful that the viewers will recognize their own familial behaviors and interactions, thus bridging gaps that are set by race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, and economic social-political forces. This work desires to deconstruct and challenge the mainstream historical imagery that has described Blackness in a light that wasn’t its own. I hope that the importance of these images are not only determined by what they express visually or culturally but also by the fact that they are documents of the human capacity to care for and feel empathy towards one another. Most importantly, the purpose of this work is to create empathy among people by showing the human aptitude to love. In the Bible, it is said that at the tower of Babel, God, frustrated and threatened by the power of human cooperation, fractured our language so that we could no longer understand each other and work together. And while an ancient story that reverberates with myth, the essence of this still rings true. That when we work together, not even the heavens will be the limit of our greatness. That God himself will pale in comparison to the vastness of our achievements. If only we could work together, we could become so much more. It is as the writer Eric Williams once said, “Together we aspire, together we achieve.”
Born in Hartford, CT, in 1995, Justin-Michael Emmanuel is a mixed media artist that primarily uses photography and the written word to explore ideas of family, love, and blackness. Justin was first exposed to photography in 2015 during his time at Hampshire College where he received both the David E. Smith and Elaine Mayes fellowship awards for his photographic work on Afrofuturism. He then completed a master of fine arts degree at the University of Hartford Art School in 2021 where he also won the Stanley Fellman Award for his graduate thesis work A Facefull of Mangos. Photographs from that series have been included in group exhibitions at the Chrysler Museum of Art, The Center for Photographers of Color, and the Joseloff Gallery. Justin currently resides in Quincy, MA, where he continues to make photographs that critically engage with his community. By using the camera to show our human aptitude to love, Justin hopes that his photographs will help give people the tools they need to shape the world around them.
Visit the Griffin
The Griffin Museum of Photography is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. The museum is closed on Monday.
General admission is $9 for adults; $5 for seniors. Members and children under 12 are admitted free. Admission is free to all every Thursday, 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 781.729.1158, or visit www.griffinmuseum.org.
About the Griffin Museum
The Griffin Museum of Photography was founded in 1992 to provide a forum for the exhibition of both historic and contemporary photography. The Museum houses three galleries dedicated solely to the exploration of photographic arts: The Main Gallery, which features rotating exhibits from some of the world’s leading photographers, the Atelier Gallery and Griffin Gallery dedicated to showcasing the works of prominent, up-and-coming artists. The Griffin is also home to the extensive archives of museum founder and world-renowned photojournalist Arthur Griffin. The Griffin Museum of Photography also maintains 2 additional satellite galleries: Lafayette City Center Passageway in Boston Downtown Crossing, in Winchester @WinCam at Winchester Community Access and Media. For more on the Griffin Museum of Photography, visit www.griffinmuseum.org.