"It [curating the exhibition] really began with the photographer James Welling and early photographs he made that were an experiment with color and texture. He was interested in how to make the color black, and thinking about Welling’s work started me thinking about Baldwin’s body and how the body has sort of been taken away from him.
Baldwin wrote beautifully about learning how to 'see' from the Harlem Renaissance painter Beauford Delaney, whose work is in the show, and he made a distinction between looking and seeing. I think it relates to the idea of how perception can change you and that, if you’re perceiving something, it means you really put the effort into it. I think Baldwin would be the first to credit Beauford with changing him and helping him to develop as an artist."
Read the full interview in The New Yorker
God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin is on view at 525 & 533 West 19th Street in New York through February 16, 2019.
Image: Marlene Dumas, Baldwin and, 2014-2018 (detail)