Elliott Jerome Brown Jr DAZED100 2020
Courtesy of Elliott Jerome Brown Jr
“I would put on an exhibition that considers the function of photography in domestic and everyday spaces

Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

Age - 26
 New York, United States
@elliottjeromebrownjr
Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.
“I would put on an exhibition that considers the function of photography in domestic and everyday spaces

Whether a conversation is unfolding that you aren’t privy to or an object, a presence, a face, is lingering just outside of the frame’s parameters, there’s a sense when you’re looking at Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.’s images that there’s more to them than meets the eye.

While Brown Jr.’s vision has been harnessed by fashion brands such as Telfar as well as the singer and artist Solange, he has also sought to tell quieter stories – but those of no less importance to his community. For a 2019 issue of OUT, Brown Jr. made images of the grieving family of Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, a trans Afro-Latinx woman and member of New York City’s ballroom scene and the House of Xtravaganza, who died at Rikers Island prison. In 2018, he photographed Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole Cuisine (who passed away last year at 96-years-old) for Luncheon.

Brown Jr. has been at the centre of three solo shows, including a simple song, at New York’s Baxter St Camera Club and arms to pray with, at the city’s Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, which, he says, have displayed his photographs in “sculptural ways”.

How do you want to influence the future?

Elliott Jerome Brown Jr: By privileging the interiority of individuals and communing groups, my work is invested in how people make space for themselves and less how they become clear to others. 

How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected you, your work, and/or your community?

Elliott Jerome Brown Jr: In looking forward, this industry will be all the more difficult to forge a career in and to rely on its earnings. We’re in April, and still many people are expected to pay rent and haven’t received or been able to complete relief applications related to the American stimulus package.

“My work is invested in how people make space for themselves and less how they become clear to others” - Elliott Jerome Brown Jr

As many people are already aware, bureaucracy can’t be depended on for relief. Creatives, myself included, are likely to use any prospective grant money to ensure their stability moving forward, especially as many of us will be refining our practice to accommodate a change in access to resources and to reflect our state of living during this time.

What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?

Elliott Jerome Brown Jr: In my recent work, I’m exploring material uses of photography that see the photographs as fixtures within domestic and common architecture. I’m interested in those structures and materials that shape and house our experiences, but that may be overlooked or taken as a matter of fact. If I received a grant, I would use it to directly support this work in public exhibitions.

Ashleigh Kane

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