“Tahira at Gleasons”
Boasting a portfolio that spans the globe, Bayeté Ross Smith has gradually documented the subtle niches or the world, bringing to light the profound in what most of us take for granite. As Bayeté sets his scope on a figure, the person is no longer just a female boxer or a prom student, they are living beings faced with passing moments. Photographs of abandoned rooms are about the negative space, the abandonment of bodies and the replacement of air, rather than the furniture and décor. It is because of the artist’s knack for exploiting phenomena in mundanity that I was tempted to ask for his formula. What is it that attracts him to an object? What catches his eye? Here is part one of our conversation.
“It is hard to say what attracts me to an individual subject or scene. It is usually a combination of the story a scene tells; the information in the scene, in combination with the aesthetic. Color, range of tones, light, and shapes etc. In terms of the concepts related to my subject matter, much of my work deals with identity and how it affects human interaction. With the female boxers I was intrigued by women who fight; who participate in a very male dominated, testosterone filled environment. Women who participate in overt violence, which most of the times is shuned by females in our society, yet still retain many aspects of their femininity. The individuals and the scenes that point to this, are what grab my attention. The combination of masculine attributes with a touch of femininity, the interaction between them and their male counter parts as well as the similarities and contrasts between them and male boxers.”
Learn more about Bayeté Ross Smith.
Stay tuned this week to catch the remainder of this interview.