Here's My Worship Take Joy in it
Exhibition by alum Caleb Griffin
On view by appt: May 26 - Jun 8
Opening reception: May 26, 6pm
Gayle and Ed Roski Gallery
USC Roski Studios (IFT)
3001 S. 30th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Growing up in the Bible Belt and being the son of a Baptist pastor, religion framed most of my existence. Understanding my emerging queer sexuality within this paradigm was extremely complicated. By examining the land, spaces, and objects I will inherit, the church, and the physical landscapes of my hometown, I struggle to find where I fit. My photography and all its intricacies and inspiration is an act of me setting a stage of self-exploration. The styling, setting, and presenting myself in front of a self-timer and my father, who operates on God’s stage- are all nuanced relationships between religion and sexuality. This series is meant to reflect on the visceral experience queer bodies have with religious objects and cultural upbringings. Being at the precipice of adulthood, I feel as if I am questioning the elements that I am consumed by and each new creation displays the fragmented remains of those findings.
This is a Handtmann Prize for Photography exhibition.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Caleb Griffin, born in 1998 in Montgomery, Alabama, is a photographer and creative director working in Los Angeles. His practice covers fine art photography, editorial, fashion, and branding/creative strategy for recording artists. He aims to bring his southern upbringing and cultural influences to the landscape of Los Angeles. He uses theoretical art practices to reconcile artists’ lyrical content and heritage with futuristic aesthetics.
Caleb received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California in May of 2020. His personal work is influenced by his upbringing in the church and his proximity to a multitude of performing acts. This has led him to make work about the inherited space of the black church, as a pastor’s son, intersected by his experience as a black, gay man. His recent areas of focus include exploring the intricacies of black gay intimacy, in an attempt to further the discourse surrounding what intimacy can look like outside of the bedroom. He is also the 2019 recipient of the Handtmann Prize for Photography from USC. Other accomplishments include receiving a community grant fund from Adobe Lightroom and being a major contributor to the Getty Museums’ new book on the Robert Irwin Garden. His creative direction work also has been featured alongside artists on sites such as V Magazine, Fader, Complex, Spotify, and Essence. Caleb is also a recipient of the National Black Arts Project Fund, Reach La's Artist-in-Progress grant, the Vibrant Cities art grant, and currently holds a position with Forever 21 as a photo editor.
Visually, he is intrigued by the lack of environmental awareness a performer is able to act in when they are consumed by their craft. This imagery centers motion, the beauty of the human form, and the daunting act of commitment. He wants viewers to be imparted with ideas or customs that could possibly be foreign to them. Once imparted with those ideas, parallels can be drawn to their lives, and ultimately universal understanding is achieved.
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