Photographer Feature: Devin N. Morris

Editor Shenyah Webb, Photography, May 15th, 2017

"...navigating the world as a black queer man."

Devin N. Morris Photography Nailed Magazine
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DEVIN N. MORRIS: I am interested in abstracting American life and subverting traditional value systems through the exploration of racial and sexual identity in mixed media painting, photography, writing and video. My works prioritize displays of personal innocence and acts of kindness within surreal landscapes and elaborate draped environments that reimagine the social boundaries imposed on male interactions, platonic and otherwise.

I began taking photographs as a way to create the content I would later extract for my collage imagery. Over time I realized that I wasn’t owning my voice as a photographer and began to consider what an image would look like if I was to make a photograph and not just an image to later cut up. I realize I like to work very physically and began to build environments to approach the idea of creating a new environment or space. I wanted to give my subjects new relationships to the common materials I used when draping the environments.

The use of gestural kindnesses between real and imagined characters is inspired by my various experiences growing as a black boy in Baltimore, MD and my later experiences navigating the world as a black queer man. Memory subconsciously roots itself in the use of familiar household materials and fabrics, while symbolically arranged. Looking to buoy my new realities in a permanent real space, I posit my reimagined societies as a prehistory to futures that are impossible to imagine.

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If you are in New York City, check out the following upcoming events featuring Devin N. MorrisJune 27thTalks at the Schomburg: ZINES: Elaborate Disruption and Black Creativity, a panel with Nonstikelelo Mutiti & Kevin Harry moderated by Steven Fullwood, Associate Curator in Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books division at the Schomburg. And an opening July 6th at AC Institute, solo exhibition I Found You Like This, You Summoned Me To.

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Devin N. Morris Photography Nailed MagazineDevin N. Morris is a Baltimore born, Brooklyn based artist. He is also the editor of the great collaborative effort 3 Dot Zine, which is an annual publication that celebrates the futurity of minorities, in addition to serving as a forum for invited artists to center and elaborate on marginalized concerns. He has exhibited in America and Brazil, with short stories and visual works also appearing in NYU’s ISO MagazineNii Journal (London), Picture Newspaper, and Packet Bi-Weekly Zine amongst others. He recently hosted the first Brown Paper Zine & Small Press Fair for Black & PoC Artists at MoCADA Museum in Brooklyn, NY in January, and, in collaboration with KAHLON, The Agency, hosted the second iteration in Baltimore, MD in April. He will release the third issue of 3 Dot Zine in Summer 2017.

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Shenyah Webb

Shenyah Webb is a Portland-based visual artist and musician. She has been with NAILED Magazine since its inception in 2012 and has served as the Arts Editor and a Contributing Editor since its launch in 2013. A Detroit native, she attended The College for Creative Studies, where she focused on Fine Art and Industrial Design. She is currently enrolled in a Somatic Expressive Arts Education and Therapy training program, studying under Lanie Bergin. You can learn more about Shenyah here. (Shenyah.com)