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Portrait of Grief

25 Aug 2020 Brooklyn
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LOCATION: Washington Street, DUMBO Brooklyn (off Plymouth Street) | Get Directions

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A pandemic is a story told in torrents of numbers. In the midst of calculating infection rates and tallying COVID-19 cases and deaths, we risk commodifying the loss. Wayne Lawrence’s portraits do not permit that.

In three American centers where COVID-19’s damage was profound—New Orleans, Detroit, and metropolitan New York-New Jersey—Lawrence sought out the bereaved. All had lost a loved one, or several, in the pandemic. Each shared mournful, loving stories: of a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a child.

Lawrence’s penetrating portraits capture, but do not invade the grief of the mourners, those whose faces show their sorrow, and those whose expressions mask it. The photographs remind us that death is not an abstraction, but a timeless and intimate experience.

Featuring: Wayne Lawrence

Curated by: Todd James, Senior Photo Editor, Science

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Wayne Lawrence (b.1974) is a St. Kitts-born, Brooklyn-based visual artist whose work, rooted in the documentary tradition, seeks to illuminate the complexities of human experience, navigating ideas of community, purpose, and humanity’s relationship to our natural and adopted environments.

Wayne’s photographs have been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of Art, the FLAG Art Foundation, Amerika Haus (Munich), the Open Society Institute, and the African American Museum of Philadelphia, among other galleries.

His work has appeared on the covers of National Geographic and TIME and has been published by National Geographic magazine, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, AARP, TIME, Rolling Stone, Variety, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, Mare, COLORS, and Newsweek.

His first monograph, Orchard Beach: The Bronx Riviera, was released by Prestel Publishing in October 2013, with accompanying exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of Art, and the FLAG Art Foundation.

Wayne is currently at work on his second book, Black Blood, an exploration of J’ouvert Carnival traditions in the eastern Caribbean.rt & Art history.

ABOUT THE PARTNER

Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues.

National Geographic reaches millions of people, with 35 editions in 32 languages. It has the largest social media following of any magazine, and its digital and social media serve more than 350 million monthly viewers around the world.

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