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Dawoud Bey

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Information about Dawoud Bey

Profile image of Dawoud Bey

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Photographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Purple
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
London, England
Favorite Quote:
Everything is possible.

Birthplace

Born:
11/25/1953
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Photographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Purple
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
London, England
Favorite Quote:
Everything is possible.

Birthplace

Born:
11/25/1953
Birth Location:
New York
See how Dawoud Bey is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Dawoud Bey was born as David Edward Smikle on November 25, 1953, in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York. Bey received a BFA in Photography from Empire State College in 1990 and then later finished his masters degree at the Yale University School of Art.

At the age of fifteen, Bey was given his first 35 mm camera. However, his prestigious career as a photographer did not begin until 1975. Inspired particularly by the photographer James VanDerZee, featured in the exhibition "Harlem on My Mind," Bey began exploring with documentary style photographic techniques. The resulting series of black and white photographs, Bey's "Harlem, USA" collection, chronicled urban life in the famous African American community and was later exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979.

Bey has experimented with many innovative approaches and photographic traditions. Whatever his technique, he uses his artwork as a platform to challenge stereotypical images of African Americans and other historically marginalized groups. Since 1992, Bey has completed a number of collaborative projects, working with young people, museums and cultural institutions to broaden the participation of various communities whose voices have often been absent in these institutions

He has had numerous exhibitions worldwide, at such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, where his works were also included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial. The Walker Art Center organized a mid-career survey of his work in 1995 that traveled to institutions throughout the United States and Europe. Bey's works are included in the permanent collections of numerous museums around the world. He is currently a professor of photography at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois.

See how Dawoud Bey is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dawoud Bey interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Dawoud Bey interview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dawoud Bey's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dawoud Bey describes his mother's life and background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dawoud Bey details his father's life and background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dawoud Bey describes his father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dawoud Bey recalls his childhood in Jamaica, Queens, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dawoud Bey remembers life as the youngest brother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dawoud Bey fondly recalls his second grade teacher, Hortense Jones
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dawoud Bey recalls racism in the classroom
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dawoud Bey describes his childhood persona and reading preferences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dawoud Bey details how racism affects bright black boys
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dawoud Bey remembers his mother's advocacy role during his school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dawoud Bey analyzes how race influenced his relationship with his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dawoud Bey describes the influence of several 20th century philosophers and activists
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dawoud Bey details his trajectory into art and photography
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dawoud Bey describes how the exhibit 'Harlem on My Mind' resonated in him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dawoud Bey relates his early experiences with photography
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dawoud Bey details his academic pursuits after high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dawoud Bey describes his early life as a musician
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dawoud Bey remembers his life in photography and music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dawoud Bey explains the impact his arts education had on his craft
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dawoud Bey details the motivation behind his exhibit, 'Harlem, USA'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dawoud Bey explains his early artistic and creative process
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dawoud Bey describes the political and artisitc influences on his photography
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dawoud Bey recalls the process behind his 'Harlem,USA' exhibit
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dawoud Bey explains how hefirst became aware of the Studio Museum of Harlem
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dawoud Bey remembers the tough times in his early career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dawoud Bey details the influence of mentor Roy DeCarava
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dawoud Bey describes how Roy DeCarava mentored him
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dawoud Bey expounds upon the influence of Roy DeCarava and Gordon Parks on his photography
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dawoud Bey describes his life after his first major exhibit at the Studio Museum
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dawoud Bey details his career after the 'Harlem, USA' exhibit
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dawoud Bey discusses how he supported his artistic endeavors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dawoud Bey details how Roy DeCarava blazed tails for other black photographers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dawoud Bey discusses the close-knit black artsists community in New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dawoud Bey describes the shift in his photographic style
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dawoud Bey discusses the influence of travels to Mexico and Puerto Rico had upon his work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dawoud Bey details the challenges in photographing the human subject
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dawoud Bey wants his work to be confrontational and revealing
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dawoud Bey contemplates his career so far
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dawoud Bey considers the use of the human subject in his works
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dawoud Bey details the impetus in using teens as subjects in his portraiture
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dawoud Bey remembers his croutship with his wife, Candida Alvarez
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dawoud Bey describes how he landed a teaching position at Columbia College, Chicago
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dawoud Bey lauds the Studio Museum of Harlem
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dawoud Bey shares his reasons for returning to graduate school
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dawoud Bey recalls his graduate years at Yale University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dawoud Bey imparts some of the skills he teaches his students
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dawoud Bey discusses the confluence of art and politics in his work
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dawoud Bey shares his thoughts on the future of black artists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dawoud Bey isn't ready to sum up his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Wedding photo of Dawoud Bey and his wife, Candida Alvarez, 1983
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Dawoud Bey with his mother and older brother, Queens, New York, 1957
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo - Dawoud Bey with his father and older brother, 1957
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo - Dawoud Bey with Jean Moutoussamy Ashe and Coreen Simpson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo - Dawoud Bey teaching at Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, New York, ca. 1989
  • Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo - Dawoud Bey in artist Claude Monet's garden in Giverny, France, 1989
  • Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo - Dawoud Bey with his wife Candida Alvarez and his son, Ramon Alvarez Smickle, 1991
  • Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo - Dawoud Bey with Issac Julien and Sunil Gupta at his photography exhibit, London, England, 1989
  • Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo - Dawoud Bey with students as an artist-in-residence at the Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1995
  • Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo - Dawoud Bey at a libation ceremony to open his exhibition the Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1995
  • Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo - Dawoud Bey with fellow artists at the Jamaica Arts Center, Queens, New York, 1990
  • Tape: 6 Story: 20 - Photo - Dawoud Bey's self-portrait for an article in the 'Village Voice' newspaper, Brooklyn, New York, 1990
  • Tape: 6 Story: 21 - Photo - Dawoud Bey kissing his second grade teacher, Hortense Jones, Queens, New York, 1998