Only a few short years in, Daveed Bapiste has already managed a career that most photographers can only dream of: solo exhibitions spotlighting his critically acclaimed series Haiti To Hood across the US, a global Converse ad campaign, Vogue photoshoots and a residency at the Haiti Cultural Exchange in Brooklyn being just some of his highlights.
But Baptiste describes himself, not as a photographer, but as an “image maker.” Looking at his work it becomes clear why. In Baptiste’s visual series Haiti To Hood, highly stylised, cluttered bedrooms and living rooms become dynamic set pieces which navigate the complexities of Haitian-American identity, inspired by the artist’s own upbringing.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Baptiste moved to Miami aged six, growing up with his siblings in a diasporic cross-cultural space. “I source inspiration from my upbringing in America, my immigration to this land, and the resilience and innovation of the Haitian American communities that I grew up in,” he says. The world created in Haiti To Hood turns these memories into sets which are simultaneously theatrical, tactile and tender. Baptiste’s background in fashion design, cinematography and photography come together to form something strikingly original. Image maker indeed.
Text Katie Goh