Galerie Myrtis is pleased to present its first solo exhibition with Tawny Chatmon, If I’m no longer here, I wanted you to Know… The show will be on view May 15-July 2021 and offer eighteen new photographs Chatmon developed featuring intimate portraits of family members and friends imbued with sentiments of love, personal ruminations, and lessons she wants to instill in her three children.
In, If I’m no longer here, I wanted you to Know… Chatmon expands her oeuvre beyond materiality of the gilded imagery and the influence of Klimt, which she has come to be known. Drawing inspiration from the Byzantine period, Chatmon adorns black bodies with semi-precious stones meticulously placed to construct a narrative on black children and dignity through cultural memory.
Chatmon’s imagery rewards the viewer who looks beyond the nuanced surface of the photographs and contours of her subjects. A deeper examination reveals allegory and iconology steeped in metaphors protesting racial and social injustice. Chatmon’s cultural and political discourse also extends to the titles of her work. In your Hoodie or White Tee sends a clear message that black boys, regardless of the clothes they wear, are human beings whose lives should be respected, preserved, and valued by society.
Chatmon’s photos emotively and melodically speak to the legacy she seeks to leave behind. She has transformed the visual to lyrical through undulating figures that sway with the rhythm of a lullaby—a mother’s love song to her children filled with memories she wants them to hold on to and life lessons to pass down through generations.
Chatmon is an award-winning photographer; among them is the People Photographer of the Year, International Photo Awards 2018 and First Place, International Photo Awards 2018.
An exhibition catalogue will be available: $45.00 (hardcover)
Catalogue Essayist: Tanisha Jackson, Ph.D., Executive Director of CFAC and Professor of Practice in African American Studies, Syracuse University