Getty Center | Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems

See the world through their eyes

Written by

Cerys Davies

Photographed by

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Courtesy of Getty.

As purveyors of culture over the past 40 years, famous American artists Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems continue to push culture forward and reach wider communities with the newest Getty exhibition and programming. 

The exhibition entitled Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue at the Getty Center compiles a selection of work from both artists from the past 40 years. The two artists, famous for their works of photography, are known for their portrayal of race and class. Bey is known for the capturing of untold American histories especially within the Black American experience, while Weems focuses on staged photography to communicate her message. 

Jim Ganz, senior curator of photographs, shares, “These artists are two of the most dynamic and insightful of our time. As presented in this extraordinary exhibition, their eloquent dialogue gives unique perspective on their shared concerns as image makers.”

When these two minds are displayed together, visitors are able to make connections and truly understand what was happening within the time that they were creating this art. From touching on issues from gentrification to racial violence and the lasting effects of slavery, it's impossible to leave this exhibit without a deeper understanding of not only their art, but of the time. 

In partnership with this exhibit and Getty, the Black Image Center, Inner-City Arts, L.A. Commons, and Venice arts are providing different opportunities and workshops for local photographers to engage with Bey and Weems as well as delve into the themes of race and power. A different contemporary artist worked with each organization to create unique curriculums for each location. Through each organization, attendees are encouraged to learn about their local communities through the art of photography

Jamil G. Baldwin, a Black Image Center resident who participated in one of the workshops with artist Nesanet Teshager Abegaze, shares, “I know I gained a family who I look forward to growing with for years to come. Family is not just something you’re born with, it’s something that’s built. And Nesanet facilitated a space for us where we were allowed to be vulnerable about ourselves and the work. And I know the foundation of our time together will hold many bricks as our story builds with time.”

The Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue exhibition will be showing until July 9 and the resulting work from the workshops will be on display at a satellite exhibition sometime this month.

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Getty Center, Getty, Dawoud Bey, Carrie Mae Weems