After Photographing Beyonce, This Artist is Showing His Work

He once photographed Beyoncé for ‘Vogue,’ now he has his own exhibition in Amsterdam

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Tyler Mitchell / Owen Smith-Clark/Courtesy of Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Tyler Mitchell made history last year as the first black photographer to shoot a cover of American Vogue. His thoughtful portraits of Beyoncé for the September issue skyrocketed him into the public eye, and his career has flourished since. He has photographed commercial campaigns for clients such as Calvin Klein and continued his editorial work for publications such as Dazed and Document Journal.

In April, Mitchell will open his first solo exhibit at the Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam with the show "I Can Make You Feel Good." A combination of Mitchell’s personal photography and video work, alongside some commissioned pieces, the show explores what Foam calls “a black utopia.”

Although he was inspired by the work of photographers such as Ryan McGinley and Larry Clark—both of whom he discovered via Tumblr when he was a teenager—Mitchell noticed a lack of diversity in their work.

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Boys of Walthamstow, 2018 / Tyler Mitchell/Courtesy of Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

“I would very often come across sensual, young, attractive white models running around being free and having so much fun,” Mitchell says in a press release. “I very seldom saw the same for black people in images—or at least of the work I knew of then.”

"I Can Make You Feel Good" is a direct response to that disconnect. “Mitchell captures young black people in gardens, parks or in front of idyllic studio backdrops where they appear as free, expressive, effortless, sensitive and proud,” says Foam’s press release.

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Untitled (Hat), 2018 / Tyler Mitchell/Courtesy of Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
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Untitled (Two Girls Embrace), 2018 / Tyler Mitchell/Courtesy of Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Mitchell has noted before in interviews that he is a “concerned photographer,” one who captures his subjects with honesty and respect.

“I want to open the eyes of the kids younger than me, show them that they can do this too,” he told Vogue.

Mitchell’s Foam show opens April 19 and will run until June 5.

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