Deana Lawson on Noah Davis
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Published on the occasion of a critically acclaimed exhibition of the artist's work organized by Helen Molesworth at David Zwirner, New York, in 2020, Noah Davis provides a crucial record of his extraordinary oeuvre. Through a series of interviews, the book tells the story of a brilliant artist and cultural force through the eyes of his friends and collaborators.
Deana Lawson interviewed by Helen Molesworth, 2019
“Noah knew about my work way before I even knew he knew about my work. I applied to the William H. Johnson Foundation, which gives grants to emerging African American artists. I had applied twice, and I didn’t get the grant either time. The second time I applied I remember thinking, ‘I’m not applying anymore.’ I felt that I would never get a grant like that because the nature of my work, the subjects I was photographing, just didn’t fit their scope. Years later, I think it was at the barbecue, Noah said, ‘I was the person organizing the slides for the William H. Johnson award, and I saw your work and I called my brother right away, and I was like, ‘Yo, this artist here, we have to meet her.’”
Cover image: Noah Davis and Moses Davis, Los Angeles, c. 2010–2011