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


    Photoville is a New York-based non-profit organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increased access to the art of photography and visual storytelling by producing a free annual festival, amplifying impactful narratives, and connecting artists to a wide global audience by activating accessible public spaces via large scale exhibitions.

    Proudly devoted to cultivating strategic partnerships and creative collaborations with community spirit, UPI approaches its mission of cultivating a wide, diverse audience for powerful photographic narratives by working closely with visual artists, city agencies, nonprofit organizations and educators worldwide to create new exhibition and public art opportunities that showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography. For more information about Photoville visit,


 archive : 2020

Featuring: Kevin Claiborne

Presented by: Photoville
  • Photoville
View Location Details Number 11 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map Brooklyn Bridge Park – Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn

1 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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