Solo Exhibition featuring Larry Cook
November 9, 2019 – January 25, 2020

In “Cool Pose: The Dilemmas of Black Manhood” Richard Majors and Janet Mancini Billson describe the posing and posturing of black men as a tool “to communicate power, toughness, detachment, and style-self – a carefully crafted persona that is key to the negotiation of black urban environments.” I am interested in how photography encapsulates this persona—specifically within prison and club photography aesthetics. Posing for the camera provides an outlet in which the subject can reclaim agency.

Eternal Splendor explores the cultural aesthetic of “club” and prison photography to examine how urban culture and incarceration systems become entwined through backdrops. The backdrop is central for its relationship to the formal, social, and cultural aspects of photographic history. My work includes found polaroids of subjects posing in front of backdrops to focus on elements of performance, expression, and spectacle. I employ elements of pictorial realism and fantasy to examine the broader questions of status, individualism, and materialism within black culture.
Larry Cook, 2019

The Visiting Room Series, Digital Print, 40×30 inches, 2019

Learn More
Add to Calendar 20200125 America/New_York 2224 North Charles Street Baltimore MD 21218 Larry Cook: Eternal Splendor