American, born 1953
Carrie Mae Weems often turns the camera lens on herself and her family, documenting her experience as an African American. In her “Colored People” series, the artist references the “shades of blackness” people assign to themselves and others. By captioning monochromatic images with words that suggest innumerable meanings and interpretations, Weems creates visual puns that raise an important question: What does color mean? These photographs are a poignant reminder of the fact that all of us see the world through culturally determined filters.
Label from DECADE: Contemporary Collecting 2002–2012, August 21, 2012–January 6, 2013