John Edmonds

Brooklyn, NY

March 1 -31st

Artist Statement

How does the notion of seeing and being seen influence one’s ideas around representation? How can art act as a statement about the personal and individual experience, while also probing questions about the political and social landscape that we are a part of? These are two questions of many that I continue to ask myself about my own practice as an artist and image maker.

I approach men that I meet in public space—on the bus, in the subway, or walking down the street—that remind me of others I know, both in the real world and from figments of my imagination. The affinity and attraction to my models comes from a sincere place of curiosity and desire for closeness. It is through this desire for intimacy that the models become a surrogate.

My subjects are protagonists in my work, and perform in a space between reality and fantasy where stereotypes around the black male identity are both accepted and rejected. Performativity—how the notion of seeing and being seen relates to a third-consciousness—is the space that the protagonists in my photographs exists where the unexpected happens in a not quite defined world. I am interested in the slippage of portraiture—the moments of failure in performing a self and the truth that this reveals.


John Edmonds (b. 1989) is an artist working in photography who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA in Photography from the Yale School of Art and his BFA in Photography at the Corcoran School of Arts + Design. His work is in both private and public collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, FOAM Museum Amsterdam Library and the George Eastman House, and has been shown both nationally and internationally.