Larry Cook | From an Eighth to a Key

Artist Statement
From an Eighth to a Key consists of two photo-portrait series that address the issues of identity through the use of dress, pose and context. I am interested in how these elements allow us to examine the way we perceive black and white males.

The project was born out of my need to create a positive image of black males by elevating their social status through photography. By putting my subjects in postdoctoral regalia I am re-contextualizing a demographic that might be profiled, opening up a dialogue about stereotypes and perception.

Conversely, I placed successful middle-aged white males in front of backdrops- “High Rollers” and bottles of Patron tequila- that are normally posed in front of by young black men and women attending hip-hop, go-go and reggae parties. I am interested in how the “read” of my white male subjects changes when seen within this context.