The Supper Club is a multi-faceted art project that brings together over 50 contemporary artists of color from the United States through portraiture, food and dialogue. Started in 2012 and informed by Vanity Fair Magazine’s annual “Hollywood Edition,” among other publication for their lack of diversity, I set out to photographed over 50 contemporary visual artists of color in widely varied locations and forms of dress in order to capture their unique artistic voices, make them an embodiment of their art and transform their identities into iconic, archetypal portraits. These experimental portraits combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography, with pop art and history as well as underscore the interplay among persona, politics and aesthetics in much of contemporary art.
The Supper Club is also a series of dinners which brings together artists, scholars and performers of diverse diasporic cultures to examine race and culture in the United States. The conversations initially addressed issues of agency, race, the role of artists and audience. However the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in 2014, shifted the conversations to address how people relate to each other amidst critical events. More than just dinner talk, these conversations have included topics such as police violence, the 2016 Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando and the need for sanctuary spaces; black female and male subjectivity; and racial subjugation in Latin American history.
By combining art photography and critical dialogue/text, The Supper Club extends beyond the usual realm of the photography book, placing art and artists firmly in the context of contemporary social commentary and criticism. Ultimately, The Supper Club is a critical historical archive documenting African-Americans, Latin Americans, LatinX, Africans, South Asians, and Caribbean cultural producers as a collective group as they weigh in on the historical significance of the last decade and the enduring power of art, food, and conversation in our everyday lives. The project was produced by the Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation and published by Hirmer Verlag✨