Atlanta-based artist Alfred Conteh powerful portraits of black Atlantans.
Alfred Conteh’s portrays Black people he meets around Atlanta, creating monumental works that accentuate the material both physically and metaphorically, in their mediums and the critical analysis of current social conditions. “In this body of work, Conteh wanted to put faces in front of the statistics that speak of their marginalization in Atlanta. He didn’t ask his subjects to come to his studio or pose them in any way. Instead, he opted to approach people candidly and ask to take their photograph, allowing his subjects to pose however they were most comfortable.
Aspiration is a viewpoint that someone would have if they had the tools and the undergirding to be able to make an idea real, to make whatever they conceptualize a reality. That has not largely been available to African Americans as a whole, to aspire. Historically, legally, African Americans were enslaved, marginalized, segregated, red lined, ostracized, kept from wealth—the list goes on and on. So how can you honestly say “aspire to be something greater” when the policies and norms and mores of this country say no? It infantilizes people when we say things are gonna be alright.