Joshua Rahsaad McFadden is an American fine artist and social activist who has been recognized as one of the top emerging artists in the world. He enrolled in Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina to pursue his B.F.A in in Photography. In the same year he graduated, he won “Best in Show” in the Mozambique Heritage exhibition in London for his project, “Colorism”.
After graduating from Elizabeth City, McFadden enrolled in Savannah College of Art and Design, in 2014, to obtain an M.F.A. in Photography. During his time in graduate school, he expanded on the Colorism project and continued to photograph, and interview, women of color. This was later commissioned for a six-month-long exhibition as part of the Atlanta Beltline Project in August, 2015.
His passion to tell and share the African-American Identity had expanded as has recently created another body of work reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Selma March and the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The increasing awareness, and history, of police brutality had inspired him to follow the same path Martin Luther King traveled in the Selma March, photographing people who participated along the way and record their story.
“After Selma” has won an award for Social Justice category by the International Photography Awards. This work has been well received and was featured as a solo exhibition in the Spruill Arts Gallery the Wheat Street Baptist Church, and has won a grant from LensCulture which has chosen him to as one of the world’s top emerging artists.
Recently, McFadden has shifted his focus on the Black Male Identity, specifically “What does one define a man, and a black man?” In connection with this project, the topic of agency, or “Selfhood”, relates to the masculine identity. He is currently selling limited edition books of “Selfhood” and currently building onto this project, which will be shown at Mason Fine Arts Gallery October 7th. Recently, he won the International Photographer Awards in 2016, and has become, according to Time Magazine, one of the “12 African-American Photographers to follow”.
Overall, McFadden’s work is an observation of the African-American, or Black, identity in American culture and environment. Currently, McFadden has produced three bodies of works that each reflect one aspect of the multi-faceted identities of African-Americans. His most recent body “Come to Selfhood/Selfhood” is a two-part series of photographs of African American men, under the age of 40 years old, that reflect on the process of how each subject has come to his identity, his influences, and his views of “What is the ideal black male?”
Below is a recording of the broadcasted artist talk
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