Kwame Brathwaite, the Harlem photographer who helped popularize the clarion slogan “Black is beautiful,” was known as the “Keeper of the Images.” His pictures of Black models and musicians from the 1960s are essential documents that radiated from New York during an era of Black and African independence campaigns.
In this series of collages, which reference traditional quilt patterning, Thomas draws on stories from Aperture in the 2010s, a decade during which looking back was as vital as looking forward.
Thomas sees these collages as a collaboration with peers and mentors he’s long admired. “The process of weaving these images has been revelatory,” he says. “Through this blending, I was able to engage more intimately with the images, the subject matter, and the journey of the image maker.”
Hank Willis Thomas - Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful - 2022
This limited edition Hank Willis Thomas print is available at Aperture.