Rochester-based artist explores contemporary Black life and examines impacts of racism, masculinity, sexuality, and gender on Black Americans
Rochester, N.Y., May 12, 2021—The George Eastman Museum will open the major new exhibition Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On in its main galleries on Friday, November 5, 2021. The exhibition is an early-career survey of the Rochester-based artist’s work, in which McFadden critically examines the racism and anti-Black violence that Black Americans have experienced from slavery to the present. To this end, McFadden explores how racism, masculinity, sexuality, and gender impact Black Americans, while at the same time he envisions Black life liberated from these strictures. The exhibition will be on view through spring 2022.
In his practice, McFadden works across genres, encompassing social documentary, reportage, portraiture, book arts, and fine arts, to explore “being-ness.” Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On will focus on the series Selfhood, Come to Selfhood, A Lynching's Long Shadow, After Selma, Evidence, Unrest in America, and finally, premiering at the George Eastman Museum, the autobiographical series Love Without Justice.
“McFadden considers the contemporary condition of Black life while referencing US history as a means to rediscover and define the Black self,” said Dr. Bruce Barnes, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of the George Eastman Museum. “The Eastman Museum is committed to supporting artists who advance social justice, using photography and moving images to provoke critical thinking, encourage dialogue, educate, and effect lasting change.”
Originally from Rochester, Joshua Rashaad McFadden (b. 1990) is currently an assistant professor of photography at Rochester Institute of Technology. He received his BA in Fine Art from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina and MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. McFadden’s work has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, Time, Vanity Fair, and the Wall Street Journal.
McFadden was named one of the top emerging talents in the world by LensCulture. He has received three first place International Photography Awards, one for the series After Selma, his response to recent incidents of police brutality; one in 2016 for Come to Selfhood, a project examining African American manhood; and one in 2020 for Unrest in America, a body of work that documents the United States in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. In 2017, McFadden was recognized as one of Time magazine’s “American Voices,” and Come to Selfhood was selected for a 2017 Archive of Documentary Arts Collection Award for Documentarians of Color. In 2018, he won the Communication Arts Award of Excellence for his I Am A Man series with Smithsonian Magazine.
Programming related to this exhibition is generously supported by the Lipson Visiting Artist Fund.