Cecil McDonald, Jr.
The Making Mask
Cecil McDonald, Jr.
The Making Mask

Slemmons Gallery

May 20, 2022 to July 2, 2022

Those that wear the mask lose their human life and turn into the spirit represented by the mask; in this case, The Making Mask. The Making Mask represents supernatural beings, ancestral, fanciful or imagined figures. It masquerades, hiding identity while expressing one’s freedom of voice, emotions and opinions without judgment; The Making Mask celebrates the virtue in ambivalence, the if in creating.

The view camera, which I selected from the Rod Slemmons Camera Archive to create the works in The Making Mask, is more machine than an entity that offers its own set of mysteries. Unwieldy, bulky and awkward, the view camera encourages a return to play, chance and experimentation. Pure in its analog state, it forces the maker to shoot blind, released from the comfort of the assurance created by a digital mindset. Both apparatuses proved to be portals to other worlds, just outside our reach though firmly within reach in our collective imaginations.

Cecil McDonald, Jr.
Spring 2022

 

The Making Mask is part of an ongoing series of photography exhibitions in Slemmons Gallery in which contemporary photographers use antique cameras from the Rod Slemmons Camera Archive to create new bodies of work. This series is offered in partnership with The Chicago Cluster Project.
To register below to attend the free opening reception on May 20 at 6 p.m. For more information and sales inquiries, please email art@epiphanychi.com.

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About Cecil McDonald, Jr.

Cecil McDonald, Jr. is interested in the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of black culture, particularly as this culture intersects with and informs the larger culture. Through photography, video, and dance/performance, he seeks to investigate and question the norms and customs that govern our understanding of each other, our families, and the myriad of societal struggles and triumphs. McDonald studied fashion, house music and dance club culture before receiving a MFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he serves currently as an adjunct professor and a teaching artist at the Center for Community Arts Partnership. His photos have been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with works in the permanent collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago Bank of America LaSalle Collection, and Museum of Contemporary Photography. He was awarded the Joyce Foundation Midwest Voices & Visions Award, the Artadia Award, The Swiss Benevolent Society, Lucerne, Switzerland Residency and the 3Arts Teaching Artist Award. McDonald participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in July 2013. In 2016, the first edition of his monograph In The Company of Black was published and was shortlisted by the Aperture Foundation for the 2017 First PhotoBook Award.

About Cecil McDonald, Jr.

Cecil McDonald, Jr. is interested in the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of black culture, particularly as this culture intersects with and informs the larger culture. Through photography, video, and dance/performance, he seeks to investigate and question the norms and customs that govern our understanding of each other, our families, and the myriad of societal struggles and triumphs. McDonald studied fashion, house music and dance club culture before receiving a MFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he serves currently as an adjunct professor and a teaching artist at the Center for Community Arts Partnership. His photos have been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with works in the permanent collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago Bank of America LaSalle Collection, and Museum of Contemporary Photography. He was awarded the Joyce Foundation Midwest Voices & Visions Award, the Artadia Award, The Swiss Benevolent Society, Lucerne, Switzerland Residency and the 3Arts Teaching Artist Award. McDonald participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in July 2013. In 2016, the first edition of his monograph In The Company of Black was published and was shortlisted by the Aperture Foundation for the 2017 First PhotoBook Award.