Shawn W. Walker - Claire Oliver Gallery

Shawn W. Walker

Born and raised in Harlem, NYC, I see myself as a fine arts photographer with a documentary foundation. I look for the truth within the image, the multi-layers of existence, and the ironies in our everyday lives. Working from a Black Aesthetic, my work tries to speak to everyone. For more than 50 years, I have tried to reflect on the positive aspects of my community and to see the relationships between various communities of color.

A master darkroom printer, I printed my own earlier work. Now working exclusively in digital video and photography, I strive to maintain those earlier standards. In all my work, I have let the images speak for themselves — only using color and my own individual vision to enhance them. In all cases, the viewer is an integral part of the art, as he/she interacts with the image.

In these three portfolios, I move from the more concrete/documentary images of the “Ritual and Spirit”/“Parade” series where everyday people get to express the significance of their ancestors and culture to the more surreal “Be-Bop” and abstract “Misterioso” series were found images call to other dimensions of being/understanding.

Finally, I strive to incorporate the spiritual past into our present, so we may learn and find alternatives to make life better: working in black and white and color, analog and digital, still and video/film media. I look into the intersections of dark and light, into the shadows that grow the seeds of existence.”

February 20, 2021 to April 3, 2021

Claire Oliver Gallery

View exhibit press release (pdf)

“As longtime residents of Harlem, we are inspired by the rich cultural lineage of our neighborhood,” states gallerist Claire Oliver. “In the midst of this challenging year when we have all been so isolated, we wanted to showcase the resiliency and celebrate the individuals, geography, and culture of Harlem through the intimacy of photography while also supporting a vital organization that provides urgently needed aid to our community in this time of need.”

A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition will go towards supporting the more than 1,200 meals being served daily at the Salem United Methodist Church on 129th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd. “This is one of the biggest opportunities to feed people who are hungry,” said Winston Majette, Harlem Week Executive Director.

Collections: 

Brooklyn Museum
Charles Perry Rand Foundation
Harlem Arts Collection
James Van Der Zee Institute
Museum of Modern Art, NYC
National Afro-American Museum, Wilberforce, OH
New York Public Library, Main Branch
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The Studio Museum in Harlem
William Patterson Foundation

Exhibitions:

2014
“Kamoinge + En Foco: Advancing the Frame” Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYC
“Reflections of Monk: Inspired Images of Music and Moods II”, The Dwyer Cultural Center, NY

2013
“Jazz. Covers. Politics”, Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYC
“Art and Protest”, The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, NYC
“Salute to Sekou Sundiata”, The Apollo Theater, NYC
“Harlem Art Walk” Open Studio, NYC
“New York Photo Show” The Lighthouse, NYC

2012
“Heart and Soul: African American by African American Photographers” Keith de Lellis Gallery, NYC
”Kamoinge: Revealing the Face of Katrina”, Group Show, Gordon Parks Gallery, College of New Rochelle, Bronx, NY
“Reflections of Monk: Inspired Images of Music and Moods”, Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba, NYC
“Harlem & the City” The City College of New York, NYC
“Old Harlem New Harlem: Images of Transformation Photographic Exhibition” Rio II Gallery, NYC
“Harlem Art Walk” Open Studio, NYC

2011
“Harlem Views/Diaspora Visions: The New Harlem Renaissance Photographers”, Group Show, Schomburg Center, NYC
Traveled Rhodes International Sculpture Arts Garden. Brooklyn, NY

2010
“Neo African Identities”, Group Show, Baobab Center, Rochester, NY
“Kamoinge: In The Moment”, Group Show, HP Gallery at Calulmet Photo, NYC

2008
Group Show. Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba, NYC

2007
“Kamoinge: Revealing the Face of Katrina” Group Show, HP Gallery at Calumet Photo, NYC
“The Rhythm of Life” Group Show, Nordstrom, various locations nationally
Group show for Katrina grant recipients on Open Society Website. !3

2006
“Lifestyles: Celebrating Black History Month”, Group show at Nordstrom various locations nationally
Kamoinge-Ferman Scholarship exhibition and auction, Group show, Columbia College, Chicago
“The Eye of the Storm, Images of New Orleans”, Group show, Columbia University, NYC
“Amadou Diallo: A Memorial”, Group show, Casa Frela, NYC

2005
Group show, The 2nd International Photographic Exhibition, NYC
Group show, PCOG Gallery, NYC
“Water Inner Landscape”, three-person show, Casa Frela, NYC
Faculty Show, City College Art Department, NYC
“Message in the Masquerade: Carnival from Brooklyn to Bahia”, Group show, Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYC

2004
“Movement Movers”, IRIDAC, City College NYC
Group show, PCOG Gallery, NYC
Faculty Show, City College Art Department, NYC

2003
Group show, PCOG Gallery, NYC
Faculty Show, City College Art Department, NYC

2002
“Carnival in Brooklyn: West Indian Labor Day Parade”, Group show,
Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY

2001
“African and African-American Artists”, Group show, PCOG Gallery, NY
“Committed to the Image”, Group show, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
“A Photographic Show”, three-person show, Marymount College, NYC
Web-based group exhibit and sale, artnet.com

2000
“Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840-Present”, Group show, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC

1999
“Ritual and Spirit”, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Group show, Bronx River Center, Bronx, NY
“Jazz Plus”, Kamoinge group show, UFA Gallery, NYC
Faculty Show, City College Art Department
Group show, Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship, NYC
“Black Photographers of the 20th Century”, Group show, The Schomburg
Center for Research in Black Culture, NYC
25th Annual Group Show, En Foco, El Museo del Bario, NYC

1998
“At One With God”, Group show, 92nd Street Y, NYC
Faculty Show, City College Art Department, NYC

1997
Hatch-Billops Collection, Group show, NYC
“Ritual and Spirit”, two-person show, Cinque Gallery, NYC
Faculty Show, City College Art Department, NYC

1996
“Shadow Series”, College of New Rochelle, Bronx, NY
25th Anniversary Group Show, Empire State College, NYC
“Say It Loud: Kamoinge Group Show”, Art in the Atrium, Montclair, NJ
Faculty Show, City College Art Department, NYC
“The Dedicators”, Group show, Brooklyn, NY

1995
Faculty show, City College Art Department, NYC

1994
Kamoinge Anniversary Show, Countee Cullen Library, NYC
Cinque Gallery Anniversary Show and Sale, Group show, NYC
National Conference of Artists’ Annual Show, NYC
Faculty Show, International Center of Photography, NYC
Faculty Show, City College Art Department, NYC
Faculty Show, Queensborough College, Queens, NY

1993
“Shadow, Dreams and Manifestations”, Three-person show, Cinque Gallery, NYC
“There is a World Through Our Eyes” Rockland State Museum, NY

1990
“Workers Exhibit”, Group show, NYS Legislature, Albany, NY
Faculty Show, Queensborough College, Queens, NY


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