Carrie Mae Weems’ Images Capture Reality of Race and Gender

The photographer was recently awarded the MacArthur “genius grant” for work that highlights the contradictory legacy of racial identity, class and gender in America.

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    Untitled (Man and Mirror), from Kitchen Table Series, 1990 (Carrie Mae Weems)

    Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems had just received word the other day that BET planned to honor her outstanding work at an upcoming ceremony, alongside Aretha Franklin and Berry Gordy. “Imagine that,” she exclaimed to The Root about sharing the stage with the two celebrities. But Weems is a star in her own right. She was awarded a $625,000 MacArthur fellowship in September for her decadeslong work highlighting the harsh realities of race and gender through melodically infused images and videos. “I am so honored that so many of my colleagues felt that I deserved the award,” she said. She plans to use the award money for a film project. Here, she shares some of her amazing images with The Root.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    Untitled (Colored People Grid), 2009-10.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    Mourning, from Constructing History: A Requiem to Mark the Moment series, 2008.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    A Broad and Expansive Sky—Ancient Rome, from Roaming series, 2006.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    Untitled (Man and Mirror), from Kitchen Table Series, 1990.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    The Louvre, from Museum series, 2007 to present.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    Quad from Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995-96.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    Wilfredo, Laura, and Me, from Dreaming in Cuba series, 2002.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    May Flowers, from May Days Long Forgotten series, 2002.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    Missing Link (Happiness), from the Louisiana Project, 2003.

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    Carrie Mae Weems

    When and Where I Enter—Mussolini’s Rome, from Roaming series, 2006.

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