Photographer Tyler Mitchell unveils his vision of a Black utopia in debut monograph

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“I feel an urgency to visualise Black people as free, expressive, effortless, and sensitive.” 

Photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell is publishing his debut monograph, I Can Make You Feel Good, via Prestel this July.

Mitchell’s work explores and documents Black aesthetics; he made history as the first Black photographer to shoot a cover of American Vogue, with Beyoncé’s cover for the 2018 September issue.

Bringing together Mitchell’s photography and film work from his first US solo show of the same name, at NYC’s International Center of Photography, the monograph presents his vision of a Black utopia across its 206 pages.

“I often think about what white fun looks like, and this notion that Black people can’t have the same. Growing up with Tumblr, I would often come across images of sensual, young, attractive white models running around being free and having so much fun—the kind of stuff Larry Clark and Ryan McGinley would make. I seldom saw that freedom for Black people in images—or at least in the photography I knew,” explained Mitchell when speaking about the exhibition.

“My work responds to this lack. I feel an urgency to visualise Black people as free, expressive, effortless, and sensitive. … I aim to visualise what a Black utopia looks like or could look like. ”

Alongside Mitchell’s own work, I Can Make You Feel Good also features texts from the Serpentine’s Hans Ulrich Obrist, Deborah Willis, Mirjam Kooiman, and Isolde Brielmaier .

Head here to pre-order a copy in advance of I Can Make You Feel Good’s 28th July publication, and check out the cover below.

All photos courtesy of Tyler Mitchell, in order of appearance: Untitled (Boys of Walthamstow), 2018; Untitled (Sosa with orange Hula Hoop), 2019; Still from Idyllic Space, 2019; Untitled (Toni), 2019; Untitled (Park Frivolity), 2019.