Nakeya Janice Brown (Nakeya B.) was born in 1988, California. She currently lives and works between New York & New Jersey. She said about her work: “My work is the visualization of blackness and womanhood with an emphasis on the politics of hair- one the most scrutinized components of a black woman’s body.”
In her photographs she used objects that represented female beauty in a still life composition. She uses photography to examine how the racialized notion of beauty shape self-perception from a black feminist context.
Her work is strongly graphic and with strong emotional impact. She said: “My curiosity with African-American hair culture first started when I opted out of the process of chemically straightening my own. By choosing to wear my hair in it’s natural state I made a political decision, that at the time, was not my intention. My “new” hair quickly exposed my ignorance about this piece of my body and its complex history in American culture. Through the years, that act of chopping off my hair has led me down an ongoing path of self-discovery and self-awareness, in respect to how I choose to identify myself. That process has been the impetus for the latest string of photographs I have created within the past year or so. African-American hair culture and politics are fascinating, controversial, and absolutely relevant subjects even more so now that I have a beautiful little girl of my own. My photographs examine the multiplicity of African –American hair through presenting it in various states whether braided, weaved, straightened, or natural. I am intrigued by its ability to communicate dual messages about a woman’s relationship to herself and to society at large.”
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