Kevin Claiborne
Kevin Claiborne
Kevin Claiborne
Kevin Claiborne
Kevin Claiborne

The project BLACKNESS IS, seeks to highlight and challenge nuanced ideas of Black identity through the presentation of questions and statements blended with landscape scenes of a desert, an environment known to be oppressive towards human life. Human ecology positions individual development in relationship to one’s environment and social context.

Without properly analyzing social context, our identities, however fluid, cannot fully be understood, appreciated, or celebrated. This is especially relevant for Blackness in the American context: with a past and present history of anti-Blackness, constantly and uniquely shifting presentation and manifestation over time, but remaining equally challenging to survive, much like the desert.

Many environments force individuals racialized as Black to engage in performative gestures, survival mechanisms, and to create/maintain spaces of fictive kinship in order to maintain optimal mental health. This project invites one to consider “How do our environments support or prohibit identity development and positive mental health, particularly within the Black American experience? How are our many intersections of identity relevant as our bodies change environments, or as our environments change our bodies?”

Artist Bios

  • Kevin Claiborne

    Kevin Claiborne (he/him, b. 1989, Washington, D.C.) is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist living and working in New York, and whose work examines and questions intersections of identity, environment, and mental health within the Black American experience.

    Using photography as a foundation and language as material, Kevin views his art as weapon, and armor in the fight for liberation. He is a graduate of the historically Black college North Carolina Central University (2012), Syracuse University (2016), and is presently a MFA Visual Arts Candidate at Columbia University (2021).


  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,


 archive : 2020

Featuring: Kevin Claiborne

Presented by: Photoville
  • Photoville


View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn

1 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Number 11 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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