Introducing Tender Photo
A newsletter on the meanings and impact of African photography.
I’ll like to invite you to subscribe to my newsletter, highlighting the work of early to mid-career photographers on the African continent.
Each Wednesday, I’ll feature one photograph and the photographer who took it. You’ll read:
my short narrative caption (written after I spend time looking at the photograph, then putting it away and writing about what I saw or experienced in relation to it);
a statement from the photographer about their technique and motivations.
Then, I’ll share one or two other photographs by the same artist, with an invitation to readers to contribute a caption.
For years now, I have written about photography, in essays for publications such as Art in America, Artforum, Aperture, and the New York Review of Books, and in books by leading contemporary photographers, including Ming Smith, Jo Ractliffe, Namsa Leuba, and Lorenzo Vitturi. And in A Stranger’s Pose, my 2018 travel memoir, I included photographs selected from a dozen photographers in a unique blend of text and image. (You might have followed A Sum of Encounters, my yearlong blog documenting the process of 8 Nigerian artists.) I’m turning my attention to a steadier form of engagement with artists whose work interests me, and points to the future of photography.
I’ve long thought of art critics as stop-gaps between the artwork and the artist, and between the artist and the audience. This newsletter is my attempt to practice that idea without inhibition, to serve as the middleman in the exchanges between a photograph, its meanings, and ultimately its impact.
I expect it to be an exciting, informative journey, with the first feature on February 9. I’ll pay homage to the work of a diverse group of African artists working in different modes, including fine art, fashion, documentary, and editorial photography. For now, all posts will be free to access. I hope you’ll share the newsletter with all lovers of photography in your network.
Thank you for subscribing, reading, and inviting others to subscribe. More next week!