The Amsterdam exhibition, titled I Can Make You Feel Good, will showcase his photography work and debut two film installations
Just six months after Atlanta-born Tyler Mitchell made history as the first black man to shoot a cover of American Vogue, the photographer and filmmaker has announced his first ever solo show. Titled I Can Make You Feel Good, the exhibition will run at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam from 19 April – 5 June.
I Can Make You Feel Good will trace Mitchell’s pure visualisation of black utopia by featuring photos from across his four-year career, including the debut of two films. The first, Idyllic Space, is a short film that pans over a group of young black people revelling in simple pleasures, such as swimming, eating ice cream, and playing tag. His second film installation, Chasing Pink, Found Red, invites viewers to understand the embedded complexities of growing up as a black person surrounded by racism and prejudice. It features a group of black youths in a park enjoying summer, intersected with soundbites that Mitchell crowdsourced from his social media followers as they voice their frustrations about their experiences with racism.
Mitchell’s distinct, sensitive vision began as a teen on Tumblr when he discovered art photography and its inherent whiteness. “I would very often come across sensual, young, attractive white models running around being so free and having so much fun – the kind of stuff Larry Clark and Ryan McGinley would make,” Mitchell explained in the show’s press release. “I very seldom saw the same for black people in images – or at least in the photography I knew of them.” Using this discovery as a spark, Mitchell began photographing skaters and subculture in Havana, releasing the results in the 2015 photobook El Paquete, which featured on Dazed.
A year later, he shot an original photo series for Dazed titled I’m Doing Pretty Hood which constructed a playful black Utopia in Flatbush, the Jamaican neighbourhood of Brooklyn. “I was thinking of what white people have been doing in their carefree suburban lives,” Mitchell told Dazed when reflecting on the shoot. ”I was thinking why can’t black kids also be included in this youth photography predominantly? I was looking at his work and thought to push this even further.”
Since then, Mitchell has gone on to shoot films and campaigns for Givenchy, American Eagle, Marc Jacobs. He has also participated in group shows by Aperture Foundation, Red Hook Labs, and Artsy.
I Can Make You Feel Good runs at Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam from 19 April – 5 June 2019