Sep 152019
 archive : 2019

On Feeling Good: In Conversation with Dr. Deborah Willis and Tyler Mitchell

Join Dr. Deb Willis, Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, as she interviews photographer Tyler Mitchell, New York University Tisch School of the Arts Film & Television alum. They will discuss his first solo exhibition, I Can Make You Feel Good, and their collective body of work.

Presenters: Tyler Mitchell

Moderators: Dr. Deborah Willis

Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse

Presented by:

  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

Supported by:

  • PhotoWings
  • Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation

Photoville Talks at St. Ann’s Warehouse are produced by United Photo Industries and supported in part by PhotoWings and the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.

Join Deb Willis, Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, as she interviews Tyler Mitchell, New York Univeristy Tisch School of the Arts Film & TV alum. They will discuss his first solo exhibition, I Can Make You Feel Good, his artistic process, and new work in the making.

Mitchell is a photographer and filmmaker living and working in Brooklyn. In 2018, he made history when he photographed Beyoncé for the cover of American Vogue’s September Issue. Willis has followed his work closely, and in her research and teaching, she covers many themes similar to those Mitchell photographs. In their discussion, she will contextualize his work from a historical perspective.

Don’t miss this incredible conversation!

Presenter Bios

  • Tyler Mitchell

    Tyler Mitchell

    Tyler Mitchell (b. 1995, Atlanta, Georgia) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in film and television. His work crosses genres and boundaries in image making, as he ​utilizes the tools of documentary reportage, portraiture, fashion photography, art photography, and filmmaking.​

    In 2015, he self published his first photo book, El Paquete, which documented architecture and skateboarding scenes in Havana, Cuba. In 2018, he made history as the first black photographer to shoot the cover of American Vogue, by shooting Beyoncé for the magazine’s September issue.

    Across photography and film he has also worked with publications like Teen Vogue, British Vogue, AnOther Magazine, and i-D Magazine. He has worked with commercial brands such as Prada, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Mercedes Benz, and Givenchy. He has given lectures at Harvard and at ICP Museum.

    Notable press features include: the Forbes 30 Under 30, the Business of Fashion 500, The New York Times, and Artsy’s list of people who shaped visual culture in 2018. He has exhibited in group shows with Artsy, Red Hook Labs, and Aperture Foundation.

    Most recently in 2019, Mitchell had his first solo museum exhibition titled I Can Make You Feel Good at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, featuring both his photography and film works, new and old.

Moderator Bios

  • Dr. Deborah Willis

    Dr. Deborah Willis

     Deborah Willis, Ph.D., is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has affiliated appointments with the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis and the Institute of Fine Arts, where she teaches courses on Photography & Imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. She is the director of NYU’s Center for Black Visual Culture/Institute of African American Affairs.

    She is the author of The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship and Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, among others. Dr. Willis’ curated exhibitions include: “Framing Moments” in the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts, and “Free as They Want to Be: Artists Committed to Memory” at FotoFocus.

    Dr. Willis was awarded the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and was a Richard D. Cohen Fellow in African and African American Art at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and an Alphonse Fletcher Jr. Fellow. She was the Robert Mapplethorpe Photographer in Residence of the American Academy in Rome and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a recipient of the Don Tyson Prize for the Advancement of American Art by the Crystal Bridges Museum in 2022, was named the Mary Lucille Dauray Artist-in-Residence by the Norton Museum of Art, and taught her Master Class titled Home, Reimagining Interiority at Anderson Ranch in 2023.


  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.

    Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.

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