CONGRATULATIONS IACA CYCLE #18
MINI-GRANT RECIPIENT, JULIAN ALI!
nonprofit mini-grant recipient, Aurora Studio & Gallery.
Congratulations to Julian Ali on a successful grant application!
The following are excerpts from Ali's application:
A Virginia native, Julian Ali or simply 'Ali', decided to follow his creative passion for the arts by pursuing a BFA at James Madison University. It was here that Ali began to take an interdisciplinary approach to his creative practices, combining photography, and digital media.
From producing viral music videos, to exploring Blackness within portraiture, Ali focuses on visual storytelling that moves people to compassion and opens our eyes to the world around us. Through art, he aims to shed light on complex social issues and visually communicate that which is often overlooked.
When he's not creating himself, Ali's penchant for photo and film manifests itself in other ways such as writing and reading. He now lives in New York, where he plans on continuing his creative endeavors and sharing the stories of those he captures within his work.
In #BLACKkings, photographer Julian Ali, examines a familiar subject, the Black Male image. This exploration is an archival portrait collection taken of 100 Black men of distinction; all with unique Black experiences. BLACKkings projects a portrait of a Black Male identity that is empowered, resilient, and continually making real world change. In this context, Blackness is multidimensional and timeless.
A photographic storyteller, Ali, demonstrates a concise focus on the connection of his subject to the viewer. By providing an almost macro look at their individual features and personalities, he aims to capture each 'king's' true essence in a poetic vein and not just an idealized notion of Blackness.
With the power of social (media), #BLACKkings has amassed over 1M engagements and 11k followers while not even being completed or funded/sponsored. The work has organically traveled internationally simply because of the timeliness and power of the overarching message. As it stands, the project is ongoing and only a little more than 1/2 complete, with 74 kings on display.
"Having the support of this fund would allow for completion of this project and continued growth. While my belief is that passion, patience, and perspective are what truly creates great photographic art, I know that having a GOOD camera also helps. So, the support would go in full to replacing my (only) 12 year old Nikon D3000 starter cam, which I've also used to shoot this project and everything else in my career."