Step into this photographer and filmmaker’s black utopia at his first solo show at Foam


Tyler Mitchell was just 23 when he shot Beyoncé for the September 2018 issue of Vogue. This act propelled the Brooklyn-based filmmaker and photographer into the headlines for becoming the first black photographer to shoot a cover in the US magazine’s 126-year history. And he hasn’t had time to look back, as his well-deserved star has risen majestically ever since.

This Atlanta-raised talent makes use of pastel shades and natural light to capture young black people in bucolic surroundings and against beautiful backdrops. Hoping to redress the balance away from the negative portrayals of people of colour in the media, his self-styled ‘black utopia’ aesthetic portrays his subjects as delicate and light-hearted. “I would very often come across sensual, young, attractive white models running around being free and having so much fun – the kind of stuff Larry Clark and Ryan McGinley would make,” he reflects. “I very seldom saw the same for black people in images – or at least in the photography I knew of then.”

His work has also featured in Dazed, Document Journal and Nataal (see his stories with Oyinda and serpentwithfeet) and he has shown as part of Red Hook Labs, Artsy and Aperture Foundation exhibitions. Now he enjoys his debut solo show at Foam in Amsterdam. I Can Make You Feel Good is on view now and includes a curation of personal and commissioned work plus he debuts two films, Idyllic Space and Chasing Pink, Found Red.

I Can Make You Feel Good by Tyler Mitchell is on view at Foam, Amsterdam until 5 June 2019

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Published on 22/04/2019