I chose the title No Filter because growing up in the New York City public school system I wasn't allowed to create the art that I envisioned. I was often told to put a cap on my work or alter certain things in fear of other people's opinions. It wasn't until my last two years of high school that I pushed my way to lifting a filter off of my work. That was my most authentic work, the pieces that were not silenced, the pieces that were 100% raw. That is what inspired No Filter. I want to give a space to other artists of color who refuse to be silent especially through the next four years. The featured artists uplift black bodies, giving them a story, visualizing their beauty and giving them a voice on canvas, through words or a lens. The social impact here is to encourage others to speak up about the social injustices that continue to occur towards people of color. There are many ways to speak up and create change, but at No Filter we are choosing art as our voice.

Artists

Micknel Alexander

"I want to show the personality of each person I shoot. I would like for the viewer to be able to tell who someone is when they look at my Images. I like to mix fashion with portrait photography to keep it personal yet still a reflection of the individual. My subjects are often youth of color because I feel we are not as esqually represented when it comes to street and everyday fashion wear."

by Kenny Rhymes

Sammy Joe

"Whether painting nudes or portraits, I simply want to use black subjects in an appealing and attractive way. When painting a portrait, I like to simulate eye contact. I want the viewer to feel confronted by the subject. The instant emotional responses that come from looking at an image: that's what I want to create. It's nothing original; the desire to help create more images with black bodies as the subject matter is (wonderfully) becoming more and more widespread. I'm just happy to be a part of it."

by Kelvin Then

Esther Faciane

Patricia Troncoso

"I never thought I wanted to be in the field of art. I was greedy, money was everything therefore I started my first semester as a business major. I found that money is not the answer. I learned to understand the consequences of wanting to be an artist. Since I've learned that there are none because how can there be a consequence to something I love to do? Attending Cooper Union for a semester taught me to look outside the box. They taught me be to be different. They taught me to show the world how I viewed it. I want my art to convey freedom. Freedom in a sense that people can look at my work and not focus on the basic contrast between a color. Nor, what does the negative space say as much as the positive. Most people would consider that the definition of art contains emotion. Even though part of that is true, art being free." (paintings not pictured. She is an abstract artist.)

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