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The Claire Oliver Gallery, in New York, presents the group exhibition, Love Letters for Harlem, which explores various photographers' approach to capturing the multidimensional surfaces of a single community. Documenting the lives, colour and culture of the New York neighbourhood, the exhibition features the work of four Harlem-based photographers, John Pinderhughes, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Jeffrey Henson Scales, and Shawn Walker, on view until April 3.

The exhibition will be donating a portion of the proceeds towards the Harlem Community Relief Fund and their mission to combat food insecurity in the community. “As long-time residents of Harlem, we are inspired by the rich cultural lineage of our neighbourhood,” according to gallerist Claire Oliver. “In the midst of this challenging year when we have all been so isolated, we wanted to showcase the resiliency and celebrate the individuals, geography, and culture of Harlem through the intimacy of photography while also supporting a vital organisation that provides urgently needed aid to our community in this time of need.”

The exhibition features the works of photographers who, through their practice, explore themes of unique identities, self-reflection and intimacy, highlighting the diversity and cultural perspectives of the walls and streets of Harlem. The juxtaposition of vibrant colour and black and white images reflect the photographers' different approaches to the special history of the community.

From the monotonous stills of John Pinderhughes’s, who contrasts light and dark in his exploration of Black beauty, self-reflection and racism, to Jeffrey Henson Scales’ inner look at the nostalgia and history of Harlem from the perspective of a barbershop. In contrast to the vibrant approach of Ruben Natal-San Miguel’s intimate portraits of the unique identities of women and girls and Shawn Walker’s multicoloured abstraction, each work reflects a unique perspective of the multifaceted body of Harlem.
Love Letters for Harlem is now on view at the Claire Olivia Gallery, New York City, by appointment from February 22 to April 3.

Paige Peacock

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