Carrie Mae Weems1996

Weems produces art that addresses formal and political issues encircling African-American culture and focuses on the ways in which images shape our perception of color, gender and class. She explores existing genres of photography, particularly documentary imagery, and manipulates these conventions with complexity and wit. Whether focusing on personal or cultural history, on Africa or on traces of the Diaspora, Weems' interest in the narratives implied in photographs presses further through the use of cluster and sequence. Using narrative as a counterpoint to imagery, she recounts stories and myths and invents texts. Provocatively, she moves marginalized voices smack into the middle of contemporary discourse.

"The focus of my work is to describe simply and directly those aspects of American culture in need of deeper of illumination. My responsibility as an artist is to work, to sing for my supper, to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the roof-tops and storm barricaded doors and voice the specificity of our historical moment."