top of page

Maybe I'm Late: HBO's "Black Art: In the Absence of Light"

Something about documentaries make me feel like I have my life together. So last night as I refrained from throwing my laptop out the window in frustration over Premier Pro doing what it does best— crashing. I turn on a video that's been sitting in my YouTube recommendations for a few days.

Something you should know about me before I continue is that I'm deeply passionate about Black culture and history. Black art in particular has been apart of my identity all my live as my father, brother, and sister are all talented artists. So turning on the HBO documentary "Black Art: In the Absence of Light" was a no brainer.

The film is just shy of an hour and a half and follows various Black American artists and their contributions to the art world. It opens highlighting the contributions of artist and exhibitor David Driskell and generations of Black artists who have staked a claim on their rightful place within the 21st-Century art world. It introduces a new generation of working African American curators and artists including Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, Amy Sherald and Carrie Mae Weems, according to HBO.

What really caught my attention was the interviews with art collectors, like Swizz Beats. I remember learning about how valuable art is and how it's one of the only thing that appreciated in value over time. I remember Jay-Z purchasing a Basquiat painting and rapping about how he and Bey buys his children art.

The idea purchasing art seemed a bit out of my grasp until not too long ago I followed journalist and curator Chaédria Labouvier on twitter who talked about basically a layaway for art.

The icing on the cake was that the documentary was directed by a Black filmmaker Sam Pollard.

bottom of page