THE TESTAMENT PROJECT
The Testament Project is an exploration and re-conception of the contemporary black experience in America. More often than not, black people are portrayed in the extreme – either as very rich or very poor, they are demonized, infantilized, ridiculed, idolized or hyper-sexualized; and within the art canon there is a noticeable scarcity of black representation. In the glowing portraits, I give control of the colored lighting to my subjects, in order to create a space that is participatory and empowered. By including my subjects in the creation of the scene and the altering of color, I seek to create photographs that portray individuality in addition to their blackness.
+Kris Graves creates photographs of landscapes and people to preserve memory. The images’ stillness cause the viewer to acknowledge the inevitability of change, and the passage of time in both the natural and built environment. These views will never be exactly as they were at their precise recorded moment. Graves suspends his belief and knowledge of this change, not to document a moment or state, but rather to sustain it. When thinking of landscapes, Graves focuses on the volatile – land that is ever changing. New developments alter the physical and mental space of the city, constantly renewing and re-imagining topography and usage.
Kris Graves is an artist, curator, and publisher currently living and working in New York City. He earned a BFA in Visual Arts from the School of Art + Design at Purchase College in New York in 2004 and has exhibited his work extensively over the past decade. In 2016, Graves will present The Testament Project at NorteMaar Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania and The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, in addition to participating in exhibitions associated with the 2015 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in the United Kingdom and ClampArt Gallery, New York.