Celebrating Black bodies, culture and communities, photographer Tyler Mitchell has made quite a lasting impression in the art and fashion worlds these past years. The first-ever black artist to ever shoot a cover of American Vogue, the Brooklyn-based photographer is now having his first major solo show in the United States. If you’re in New York City, head to the International Center of Photography’s new integrated centre on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to visit Tyler Mitchell: I Can Make You Feel Good, one of its four inaugural exhibitions on view until May 18.
As ICP’s new Curator-at-Large, Isolde Brielmaier, notes, “Tyler’s exhibition comes at a critical time in our visual culture when so many are challenging pr-existing representations and taking ownership of their own imaging. His poetic images and videos offer our visitors a wonderful opportunity to re-envision how they see the world around them and all that is possible.” With works like Idyllic Space, a video installation of “scenes of Black youths enjoying simple pleasures in suburban settings”, or Chasing Pink, Found Red, which combines “images of Black youths relaxing amongst a lush picnic scene contrasted by crowdsourced narratives of small daily traumas of Black life recorded by Mitchell’s friends, family and social media followers”, the photographer provides insightful yet sensitive information about the hopes, dreams but also concerns and fears of the Black community.

I Can Make You Feel Good is simply a declaration”, said Tyler about the exhibition. “And one that I feel is gut-punching in its optimism. It feels important at a time like this to declare such a thing”, he concluded. Representing people in his community as joyful and proud, celebrating their culture, roots, way of life and beauty, the Brooklyn-based photographer explores ideas of a Black visual utopia, helping them escape the harsh situations and realities they’re still immersed in – from discrimination to socio-economical inequality.

In addition, his first US solo exhibition coincides with the opening of the ICP’s new home. “We are thrilled to present Tyler’s solo show at the launch of our new home, a centre integrating our museum and school for the first time in decades. Opening a new home on the Lower East Side, a dynamic neighbourhood with a rich photographic history, is an opportunity to explore ideas about community and representation in new ways, much like Tyler’s work challenges us to re-think depictions of everyday life”, said ICP’s Executive Director Mark Lubell.
The exhibition Tyler Mitchell: I Can Make You Feel Good is on view until May 18 at the International Center of Photography, 79 Essex Street, NYC.
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Tyler Mitchell, Boys of Walthamstow, 2018. © Tyler Mitchell
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Tyler Mitchell, Untitled (Group Hula Hoop), 2019. © Tyler Mitchell
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Tyler Mitchell, Untitled (Tear), 2016. © Tyler Mitchell