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

© Luca Marianaccio

2021 Open Call AWARD Deadline: 31 August 2021

Portrait, documentary, fashion, landscape, fine art, street, conceptual, and more: this summer your work may fall into any category and we invite all photographers to share their best images!⁠

We want you to challenge us and respond to the theme in as many inventive ways as you can imagine: Edit carefully and show us what you’ve got!


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

Submit Now