Deana Lawson: An Aperture Monograph
This is the first monograph on the photography of Deana Lawson, who has created a visionary language to describe identities through intimate portraiture and striking accounts of ceremonies and rituals. Using medium- and large-format cameras, Lawson works with models she meets in the United States and on her travels in the Caribbean and Africa to construct arresting, highly structured, and deliberately theatrical scenes animated by an exquisite range of color and attention to surprising details: bedding and furniture in domestic interiors or lush plants in Edenic gardens. The human body—often nude—is central.
The volume features reproductions of forty photographs by Lawson that date from 2007 through 2017. An essay by writer Zadie Smith, “Through the Portal: Locating the Magnificent,” opens the book, offering a poetic analysis of Lawson’s practice, and a wide-ranging conversation between Lawson and artist Arthur Jafa further explicates the significance of her photographs.