Figures of Color is a visual study of black skin – American photographer Marcus Maddox was awarded the 1st Prize in The Independent Photographer’s Open Call judged by Vogue Italia’s Brand Visual Director Alessia Glaviano.
“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 make 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