The exploration of contemporary African American identity
at Osservatorio, Fondazione Prada.


The Black Image Corporation is an exhibition conceived by Theaster Gates at the Osservatorio, Fondazione Prada, Milan. The project explores the fundamental legacy of Johnson Publishing Company archives, which features more than 4 million images and have contributed to shape the aesthetic and cultural languages of the contemporary African American identity. Gates has conceived a coral and participatory exhibition focused on the works of two photographers: Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton. The show explores the creation of female iconic moments by Sleet and Sutton and offers small forays into the lives of everyday people through never-before-seen images from the Johnson Collection. The archives speak about beauty and black female power, showing images that are rarely seen outside of the community. The artist wanted to celebrate women of all kinds and especially black women.