Portraiture[s] II Portraits
The fifth and final article in a series
As Fall 2015 swept in with a big storm churning up the eastern seaboard, we thought, "What better time to take a final look at those four golden days last spring (May 28-May 31, 2015) when the Portraiture[s] II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories conference was held in Florence Italy?"
Artists, curators, scholars and visual arts-minded others from the U.S., Canada, Barbados and various African and European nations gathered at the Villa La Pietra and the Odeon theatre in Florence at the conference sponsored by New York University in association with Harvard's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. (Portraiture[s] I was held in 2013 in Paris.)
In this final article of our Portraiture[s] 11 coverage, we present a gallery of portraits. In their personal appearance and interactions, the conference participants themselves exemplified a striking, visual narrative like the topics they were meeting to discuss. And so the vibrance of the conferees and the artistic eye and skill of conference photographer Riccardo Cavallari collaborated to form the vivid, literal "portraiture" presented here. The other articles in the series contain additional beautiful photography and are linked at the end of this article.
IRAAA correspondent Michelle Renee Perkins submitted a photo that provides a fitting introduction to our gallery. Her shot of conference participant artists Hank Willis Thomas, Fahamu Pecou and Sanford Biggers near the Odeon in Florence playfully signifies on the “black portraitures” and “re-significations” themes. Re-significations was the title of the art photography exhibition held in conjunction with the conference.
We also begin our gallery portraiture with shots of New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray at the conference’s reception and at the opening session where she discussed her love of art and concerns about diversifying museum attendence.
We are able to identify many, but not all, of the persons in Riccardo Cavallari's photographs, so for a consistent format, we present all of these photos without ID captions.
The other articles in the Portraiture[s] II series are: