Exhibitions > Observance: As I See You, You See Me

“Joshua, 2015” photo based mixed media from the series #InHonor by Ervin A. Johnson (courtesy of the artist and Arnika Dawkins Gallery, Atlanta).
“Joshua, 2015” by Ervin A. Johnson

Ervin A. Johnson’s dramatic portrait series #InHonor is a series of photo-based mixed media portraits made to honor “Blackness” as it exists in its various forms within American culture. #InHonor speaks to the violence and destruction occurring across the country in the form of police brutality directed against people of color. It began as the artist’s personal response to the killings as he felt his “silence” or “failure to act” had become a burden. #InHonor serves as a call to action to the artist himself, but also to other as Johnson is using the series to get people involved and their voices heard. Once each portrait is taken, the skin color of the subject is digitally removed from each image and aggressively renegotiated. According to Johnson, the pigment stands in for a preconceived notion about a particular type of human experience: blackness. Questions of tangibility and digital approximations of an entire race are raised. Johnson says: “The faces are forever transformed, just as our world is with each loss of life.” https://www.ervinajohnson.com