Photographer Micaiah Carter captures black beauty at home
Black Beauty Vol. I, Micaiah Carter’s latest solo photography exhibition is currently on view at SN37 in New York’s Sea Port neighborhood. The exhibition-an exploration of intimacy, heritage and the dark self, blends Carter’s signature approach to bold fashion portraiture with tender glimpses of her own family life. Carter chose the show’s title — and its premise more broadly — after a Google search for “black beauty” turned up nothing but “a bunch of horses.” “I wanted to address the similar experiences that a lot of black people share growing up in America,” Carter said. Maintenance. Here, the young photographer, who has photographed everyone from Rihanna to Symone, and more recently the Euphoria girls, told us about some of the very personal images on display at SN37. Black Beauty Vol. I is on view until March 27 and, according to the artist, there is more to come. Black Beauty Vol. II is due to exhibit later this year.
“So she’s my niece, and I just wanted to capture her beauty. I wanted to capture the calmness of her face, looking up, taking in the sun. Wanting to feel a peaceful moment. It’s about innocence – how that feels , basically.
“This photo was inspired by my dad, his style and the 70s, a bit. I wanted to kind of capture that air of individuality with him. I wanted it to be a sharp photo, and I think it’s very beautiful. I love the styling. It definitely explores the idea of inheritance and what it means at different ages. That’s also part of the reason why I feel [the exhibition is] about “going home”. They all add to that feeling you get – of your hometown glory. But it’s more about realizing where you come from.
“He’s my brother. We see a black man loving his kids. You rarely get to see that. My brother is a single dad, and that’s something I wanted to capture. The sweet love that goes I think this photo does it perfectly – the kiss on the forehead and the way my other niece has her hand on her back. It speaks to the sweetness of this moment. I think we are always shown the other end of the stick. There is a pressure to present yourself as masculine, or you something like that. It’s something I wanted out of.“
“It’s also inspired by the 70s, my father’s archival work. I wanted to capture black power. I wanted to capture confidence in a very afro-futuristic way. Thinking about the future, I wanted to bring the past back with us. It still overwhelms me. I’m really happy to have been able to share this project.