Easy When The Love Don’t Hide
Easy When The Love Don’t Hide
Baxter St and YoungArts present Easy When The Love Don’t Hide, an immersive installation of new large-scale black-and-white photographs by past YoungArts award winner Bruce Bennett (2014 YoungArts Winner in Photography). For his New York debut, Bennett turns his lens on his relationship to celebrate the inherent magic of Black Love. This intimate exploration at the intersection of identity — including race, gender, sexuality and socio economics —, takes viewers into Bennett’s home and the natural landscapes where his love first blossomed. Easy When The Love Dont Hide is the culmination of Bennett’s participation in a mission-aligned YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program, a multi-year partnership between the two organizations to support, mentor, and diversify the next generation of lens-based artists. The exhibition will be on view from March 30 to April 30, 2022 at Baxter St’s storefront gallery at 126 Baxter St.
“Black Love is infinite and the answer. It survives and continues to thrive through centuries of brutality and sacrifices, yet never dies” says Bennett “ Black Love is fighting for your family, loving the ones who share the same magic as you, even if they are impoverished, differ in sexual orientation, mentally unstable, uneducated or incarcerated. It’s about defending them when there is no gravity to ground them and fighting for self and others because they are the only ones you have. I am grateful to the YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program which gave me the necessary tools, encouragement and resources to push these ideas forward. “
Easy When The Love Don’t Hide affirms how alive, thriving, and whole Black Love can be. The striking images made expressly for this presentation celebrate the resilience and endurance of Black pride identity as defined by Bennett, an artist whose self-discovery journey started by embracing the intimacy and kindness that love requires.
“Bruce Bennett’s powerful photographs are a testament to the bold range of new voices that the YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program in partnership with 7|G Foundation aims to amplify and support,” says Jil Weinstock, Baxter St’s director. “Bennett’s work distinguishes itself for his rigorous and traditional approach to portraiture that poignantly explores the intersection of connection, belonging and love. We are thrilled to support his practice during this critical stage in his development.”
Bruce Bennett is a lens-based artist originally from Chicago’s Southside. His images explore issues of gender, sexuality, race, and socioeconomic status by interrogating conventions of representation through individual personalities, cultural markers, and environmental facets. Bennett holds a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati (2018). His images have been published in All Power: Visual Legacies of the Black Panther Party (Publisher, year) alongside photographs by artists Carrie Mae Weems, Hank Willis Thomas, Endia Beal and more and have been featured in publications including Vanity Fair, Vice, Office Magazine, among others.
Established as the YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program, Baxter St invites emerging lens-based YoungArts award winners living in New York City to apply. The residency, in partnership with the 7|G Foundation, provides two months of workspace access at Baxter St, an artist stipend for production costs, and mentoring sessions with members of Baxter St’s Art Advisory Committee. The residency will culminate in a four-week solo show at Baxter St. As a resident in this program, artists will gain hands-on experience, be counseled and supported by specialists in their field of study, and work closely with Baxter St in order to present a solo show, which for most residents will be their first exhibition.
YoungArts was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary and performing arts and provide them with creative and professional development opportunities throughout their careers. Entrance into this prestigious organization starts with a highly competitive application process for talented artists ages 15–18, or grades 10–12 in the United States. Past YoungArts award winners include Daniel Arsham, Terence Blanchard, Camille A. Brown, Timothée Chalamet, Viola Davis, Amanda Gorman, Judith Hill, Jennifer Koh, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Andrew Rannells, Desmond Richardson and Hunter Schafer.
7|G Foundation champions organizations and individuals that challenge inequality in human rights, education, art, and culture. By partnering with organizations, artists, and community facilitators, we seek to build strong community bonds that elevate local culture while supporting cultural change founded upon our core social impact and sustainability values.