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Jonathan Carver Moore

San Francisco

G8

Exhibiting artist (GENERATIONS): Lulu Mhlana Jonathan Carver Moore is a contemporary art gallery that specializes in working with emerging and established artists who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women. As the only openly gay Black male-owned gallery in San Francisco, Jonathan is committed to amplifying the voices of the often underrepresented artists through a Black queer lens. At Jonathan Carver Moore we believe in community and accessibility. Art should be for everyone. Whether someone is a novice or an avid collector, we encourage them to be a part of our community. There is beauty in diversity in all aspects of the art world. Lulu Mhlana uses photography as her primary medium of expression, tackling the subject of identity, intimacy and existence. Since the start, she’s been using the black body as a host for her message: “I see my work as rewriting the existing and historical narrative on black bodies. As an artist, I’m essentially interested in portraiture, I take portraits of people I know personally, and I take self portraits as a means of tapping into the different emotions that I experience”. The nude bodies in her photographs are metaphors of letting go of our physical insecurities, and meant to inspire us to embrace the body for what it is. By using a self timer when making a self portrait, she imagines herself occupying a specific space; in essence location plays a big role in her work. Ultimately, she is mapping her presence and existence in the different spaces that she’s occupied, which is visible through the unique backdrops in each portrait. She processes her images to black and white because she enjoys the stillness of the processed image, with no distraction of color. In her native language this can be interpreted as is’thunzi. Mhlana’s flagship project Ubumnyama Bam is a series of self portraits which began in 2019. The project attempts to stress the depth of self love, far beyond the mainstream’s terms and messages. She means that it’s about having honest conversations with and by yourself, and to keep record of those conversations. For Mhlana, those conversations are kept through her photography. Besides acting as her personal archive, these records are also a contribution to the lack of black female bodies represented in mainstream media. In 2017 Mhlana moved to Cape Town. That same year, she started photographing two close friends of hers, who also happened to be a couple. This was the beginning of what came to be known as the Uthando project. The images capture intimate moments between the two, and the project still lives on today. The intimacy that this project brought out, and the experience from the self portraits in the Ubumnyama Bam project, inevitably inspired Mhlana to include herself in Uthando.

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Jonathan Carver Moore
Address
Market Street 966, 94102, San Francisco, California, United States of America

Represented artists

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Lulu Mhlana
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