Baxter St, New York, United States
30 Mar 2022 - 30 Apr 2022
Baxter St and YoungArts present Easy When The Love Don’t Hide, an immersive installation of new large-scale black-and-white photographs by past YoungArts award winner Bruce Bennett (2014 YoungArts Winner in Photography). For his New York debut, Bennett turns his lens on his relationship to celebrate the inherent magic of Black Love. The exhibition will be on view from March 30 to April 30, 2022 at Baxter St’s storefront gallery at 126 Baxter St.
This intimate exploration at the intersection of identity — including race, gender, sexuality and socio economics —, takes viewers into Bennett’s home and the natural landscapes where his love first blossomed. Easy When The Love Dont Hide is the culmination of Bennett’s participation in a mission-aligned YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program, a multi-year partnership between the two organizations to support, mentor, and diversify the next generation of lens-based artists.
“Black Love is infinite and the answer. It survives and continues to thrive through centuries of brutality and sacrifices, yet never dies” says Bennett “ Black Love is fighting for your family, loving the ones who share the same magic as you, even if they are impoverished, differ in sexual orientation, mentally unstable, uneducated or incarcerated. It’s about defending them when there is no gravity to ground them and fighting for self and others because they are the only ones you have. I am grateful to the YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program which gave me the necessary tools, encouragement and resources to push these ideas forward. “
Easy When The Love Don’t Hide affirms how alive, thriving, and whole Black Love can be. The striking images made expressly for this presentation celebrate the resilience and endurance of Black pride identity as defined by Bennett, an artist whose self-discovery journey started by embracing the intimacy and kindness that love requires.
“Bruce Bennett’s powerful photographs are a testament to the bold range of new voices that the YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program in partnership with 7|G Foundation aims to amplify and support,” says Jil Weinstock, Baxter St’s director. “Bennett’s work distinguishes itself for his rigorous and traditional approach to portraiture that poignantly explores the intersection of connection, belonging and love. We are thrilled to support his practice during this critical stage in his development.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Bruce Bennett is a lens-based artist originally from Chicago’s Southside. His images explore issues of gender, sexuality, race, and socioeconomic status by interrogating conventions of representation through individual personalities, cultural markers, and environmental facets. Bennett holds a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati (2018). His images have been published in All Power: Visual Legacies of the Black Panther Party (Publisher, year) alongside photographs by artists Carrie Mae Weems, Hank Willis Thomas, Endia Beal and more and have been featured in publications including Vanity Fair, Vice, Office Magazine, among others.