Exhibition Artwork Artist Statement About the Artist
Contemporary Black identity is complex. That identity becomes a chameleon as it travels the routes of the slave ships throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. Titus Heagins’ images capture the essence of the lives and iconographic representations of descendants of Africa throughout that Diaspora. His calling is to visually interrogate the spirit of people of dark hue, as well as bring within the margins of society those who are “othered” by structural norms. Heagins’ images seek to illuminate a commonality of racial identity, illustrated by similarities in cultural expressions and practices. He uses color as a palette that not only points to, but heightens, the constructions of Blackness and struggle. Heagins’ images prove that photography can be redemptive when it visualizes the expressions that hold sway over populations and endeavors to beautifully capture Black people and how they inhabit their own space. Descendants of Africa live in a realm where despair and hope coexist. He tries to make a portrait in and of that space.
About the Artist
Titus Heagins is a photographer who currently lives and works in Durham, NC. He has traveled extensively throughout North Carolina, the southwestern United States, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, the Caribbean, and China to produce a diverse body of work. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University, and an M.F.A. in Photography from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has taught photography and art history courses at numerous colleges and universities, including the Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; the Durham Arts Council; and the Center for Documentary Studies, Durham. Heagins’ works are in many private and public collections, including the North Carolina Museum of Art; Anacostia Museum of African American Art and History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Lehigh University Museum of Art, Bethlehem, PA; North Carolina Central University Museum of Art, Durham, NC; Casa de Africa, Havana, Cuba.