feature: student artist kemi layeni reinterprets the annihilation of young unarmed black men with starkly beautiful photo series

June 22, 2016

Artist Kemi Layeni, currently an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia, not only creates art for expression but for analysis. With her primary mission statement being to “unflinchingly present her work in a way that complicates, disturbs, and reveals previously held notions about her subjects”, Layeni works to place her audience in a position of that which is open to receiving a multilayered, unabashed representation of the African- American experience. In her latest photography series, 4.5, the all too familiar scene of an unarmed black man’s conclusion in America is reinterpreted to juxtapose the beauty of a flower with the horror of death- a juxtaposition that to Leyani is nothing but natural; “For like flowers, what is more beautiful, more delicate, and more ephemeral than the black body?” Check out more of her powerful project below.

By Cree B. McClellan, AFROPUNK contributor

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