More than 150 years since the Civil War’s end, a critical conversation has addressed the Confederate symbols and iconography that have been pervasive in the American South. Educational curricula and ubiquitous plinths touting Confederate soldiers and generals as heroes served to control the history of the Confederacy. Public art recognized historical figures who held Black Americans in subjugation or treated them with contempt. Violence against Black Americans continues today.
In May of 2020, Americans were outraged as a Black man named George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by white police officer Derek Chauvin. In the wake of Floyd’s death, many people have called for the removal of Confederate monuments and recognition. In the South, Americans tore down symbols of the Confederacy and white supremacy and pushed for replacing school names that commemorate Confederates. This story explores the conversation around these passive relics of America’s racist past, the dynamic changing of these landscapes, and who will be honored now.
Kris Graves (b. 1982 New York, NY) is an artist and publisher based in New York and California. He received his BFA in visual arts from SUNY Purchase College, and has been published and exhibited globally—including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Getty Institute in Los Angeles, and the National Portrait Gallery in London, among others. Permanent collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Getty Institute, the Schomburg Center, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Wedge Collection in Toronto, among others.
Graves creates artwork that deals with societal problems. He aims to use art as a means to inform people about cultural issues. He also works to elevate the representation of people of color in the fine art canon, and to create opportunities for conversation about race, representation, and urban life. Graves creates photographs of landscapes and people to preserve memory. He also sits on the board of Blue Sky Gallery: Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts in Portland, and The Architectural League of New York as vice president of photography.
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Featuring: Kris Graves
Curated by: Mallory BenedictView Location Details Number 40 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map Washington Street and Prospect Street
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New Authors, Old Histories
Join National Geographic photographers Philip Cheung, Kris Graves, and Daniella Zalcman in conversation with National Geographic Executive Editor Debra Adams Simmons, as they discuss their ongoing projects visualizing racist and discriminatory histories through a new lens.Learn More