The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Teen Council class of 2007-08 will honor legendary photographer Jamel Shabazz with an exhibition of the artist’s works, including photographs from the Museum’s permanent collection. Working in collaboration with Shabazz and the Bronx Museum’s assistant curator Erin Riley-Lopez, the Teen Council’s exhibition will open on Sunday March 2 and run through to July 27.
Along with the exhibition an interview with Shabazz was put together for the education department’s DVD series that focused on the development of his career over the last thirty years. In the interview, Shabazz suggests that his images are not only a document of street culture, but that they actually represent a kind of social activism inspiring youth through unique portrayals of their peers and neighborhoods. In some instances, his popularity within inner city communities even helped squelch tensions between rival gangs.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to have spent quality time with the members of the Teen Council of the Bronx Museum for the Arts,” said Jamel Shabazz. “The experience has been both rewarding and inspiring for me and when I look into their faces, I see young visionaries that hold the key to making this world a better place.”
An artist and activist, Jamel Shabazz gained acclaim for his documentation of Bronx and Brooklyn street culture during the rise of hip-hop in the late 1970s and early 80s. Born in Brooklyn, Shabazz has been committed to recording “urban life” through his photography as well as exposing inner city youth to the arts. He has published several monographs, including the best-selling photo documentary Back in the Days, and most recently, Seconds of My Life. Shabazz’s work has appeared in publications such as The Source, Vibe, Trace, British Elle, Jalouse, Dune, GQ, and French Vogue, as well as numerous group exhibitions. A former corrections officer, the artist also mentors at-risk youth in various community programs. His 1981 and 1982 photographs, Untitled (Two Boys: Sizzlin’ Chicken) and Best Friends (Brooklyn, New York) respectively, are apart of The Bronx Museum’s permanent collection.
For more check out the Bronx Museum website.