Barron Claiborne Illuminados (Santos Negros) The Luminous Black Saints August 24th – September 9th, 2018 @plus81_Gallery #barronclaiborne

Barron Claiborne’s highly evocative photographs are a powerful fusion of disparate elements: mythology, allegory, history, and symbolism. Behind the lens, Claiborne has captured the zeitgeist of the 20th and 21st centuries with iconic images including the crown-wearing Notorious B.I.G. as the King of New York and the unequivocal beauty of goddesses, saints, kings, and queens of all kinds.

The exhibition comprises 33 photographs shot by Claiborne in 8 x 10 Polaroid format. Illuminados (Santos Negros), The Luminous Black Saints encompasses several bodies of work that he began between 1999 and 2001, including Historically, an icon is a sacred or religious image that was a representative symbol, such as a saint or an angel.


Claiborne’s reimagined icons take the viewer into a realm of contemporary urban magical realism where anything is possible. Each photograph has its own personality, visual metanarrative, and story to tell.

This collaboration between Barron Claiborne and Rebecca Pietri at + 81 Gallery offers an in-depth look at the divine and the sacred, both within and outside the Western imagination.

The series includes Saints (Muurmaidens and Orisha’s) Venus Aurea (The Female Form), the Twins (Double Duplication), and Cara Negra (Black Face).

This collaboration with +81 Gallery will offer Limited Edition products featuring Barron Claiborne’s iconic images that will rotate daily.

The +81 Gallery is located at 167 Elizabeth Street, in New York City , Hours are Wednesday – Sunday 12-7pm

About the Artist

Barron Claiborne (BC AFRICANUS) @BCAfricanus , was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. A self-taught photographer, he began taking pictures at the age of 10 after receiving a camera as a gift from his mother (Betty Lou).

He works primarily in large format Polaroid (8 x 10) and (4 x 5). His work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Interview, and The Source among others. Claiborne has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Creative Time. He lives and works in New York City.


About the Curator

Rebecca Pietri @hommepourfemme , is an independent curator, art advisor, and writer. The inspiration for her curatorial approach is syncretism, dualism, and collaboration. Pietri’s focus is to bring emerging artists and narratives to the public through innovative artist collaborations and by blending disparate cultural elements to create something intricate, original, and new. Influential in the world of fashion, she has worked with Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West, The Roots, and Questlove. She started her career in publishing at Vanity Fair and has worked with Condé Nast, Hachette Filipacchi, and Time Inc. Pietri regularly contributes to “The Look” section of The New York Times. She lives in New York City and consults privately for select clients. Images: For Those Who Wrestle with Sin No.1, Assassin No. 1 (For Loyola), Those Who Kill for Christ, Saint Sajata


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