Ming Smith is the quiet storm, her photographs evoking the soul of Billie Holiday’s music in photographic form. She has lived as an artist all her life, creating a body of work that captures the mysterious beauty of eternal truth. “Images outlive us,” Smith observes, and at the same time, without them, things disappear and the moment is gone. In this way, photographs become not only a work of art or an artifact—they become part of the collective consciousness that defines human experience.
“Something flows through you,” Smith explains. The photographer becomes a channel open to the world, transforming three dimensions into two then delivering them so that we may feel and understand their point of view. Smith’s perspective is as singular as she is. The first African-American woman to have her work collected by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Smith is a pioneer, an innovator, and a rebel imbued with ineffable elegance.
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Photo: Ming Smith, Sun Ra space II, New York City, New York, 1978 Vintage gelatin silver print, printed ca. 2000 28 3/16 x 39 7/8 in. © Ming Smith, courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery