Marcus Maddox Figures of Colors Series Cover

Figures of Color A photography project by Marcus Maddox

Figures of Color is a visual study of black skin – American photographer Marcus Maddox was awarded 1st Prize in The Independent Photographer’s 2018 Open Call.

“The series is inspired by the black subjects in Alex Gardner paintings and the hard-edge approach to abstract painting characterized by areas of flat colors with sharp edges. By implementing sharp changes of color in photographs, I intend to bring focus to the beauty of black skin. Vibrant, often pastel scenery surrounds each black character, while white and off-white clothing further intensifies the contrasting elements.

For me, this imagery represents the uniqueness and significance of people of color in a mostly white American country. The dark traces of each image would not work without the lighter fragments, representing the need for balance. Some of the images lean more towards fashion than others, but they’re all about seeing black skin.

With minimal direction and set design, I attempt to arrive at pure simplicity. In a world that’s constantly changing, it’s interesting to think about all the ways in which black and white work together. The visual concept underlined with fundamental issues of race in America makes for a life-long personal project, one that I hope will carry the complexities of black people across time.” – Marcus Maddox, August 2019

– Discover more of Marcus’s work here

Monthly Photo Contest

Color film portrait photograph of a young woman by Michelle Marshall
© Michelle Marshall

2021 Portrait AWARD Deadline: 31 May 2021

"In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Portrait photography has one of the oldest and most interesting histories that harkens back to the early days of the medium. Through portraits of iconic figures or ordinary people, we discover a deep interest in others.

Recent works or gems from your archives, classic or experimental, and through any kind of storytelling: we want to discover the most powerful and captivating images of today’s portrait photography. We are open to all interpretations and want to see faces that gaze right into the soul!


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

Submit Now