EYE CANDY

Meet the New Black Vanguard of Fashion Photography

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© Dana Scruggs

The sheer size of emerging talent featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a new book by the curator, critic, and W contributor Antwaun Sargent, is astonishing. But it’s also just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the recent wave of expert up-and-comers whose work circumvents the white gaze. So, Sargent expanded his survey, curating an exhibition now on view at New York’s Aperture Foundation. Some of those featured are better known than others; take Renell Medrano, who entered the mainstream by documenting Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s highly Instagrammable vacations, in between lensing subjects such as teenagers living in the Bronx. Awol Erizku and Tyler Mitchell have both worked with Beyoncé; in Mitchell’s case, their collaboration saw him become the first African American photographer to shoot a Vogue cover, around the same time Dana Scruggs marked a similar first at Rolling Stone. Those milestones are significant, but they’re just a fraction of the story—one that’s often perceived as mainstream institutions waking up to black artists’ talent, rather than black artists producing vital work with quality too superior to be ignored. See for yourself with an exclusive look inside the show, starring a handful of W‘s 2018 breakout stars.

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© Campbell Addy

Campbell Addy, Adut Akech, 2019. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Nadie Ijewere

Nadine Ijewere, Untitled, 2019. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Renell Medrano

Renell Medrano, Untitled, Harlem,, 2017. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Arielle Bobb-Willis

Arielle Bobb-Willis, New Orleans, 2017. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Ruth Ossai

Ruth Ossai, London, 2017. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Micaiah Carter

Micaiah Carter, Three Men, 2018. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Stephen Tayo

Stephen Tayo, Pedro Street, Lagos, Nigeria, 2019. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Jamal Nxedlan

Jamal Nxedlana, Late Leisure, 2019. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Daniel Obasi

Daniel Obasi, Moments of Youth, Lagos, Nigeria, 2019. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Adrienne Raquel

Adrienne Raquel, Lizzo, Los Angeles, 2018. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.

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© Dana Scruggs

Dana Scruggs, Fire on the Beach, 2019. Featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, a book and exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent and on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York through January 2020.