Keliy Anderson-Staley
A black & white print of an African American man with shortly cropped hair in a white tank top sitting in a chair, hands clasped in front of his chest, gazing off to the right.

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Collection of the artist

Kevin is from [Hyphen] Americans, a series of tintype portraits made with nineteenth-century chemical recipes and equipment. Composed of thousands of portraits, the project is a diverse representation of Americans. Each individual—identified only by a first name—defiantly asserts his or her selfhood, resisting any categorizing system we might bring to these images. At once contemporary and timeless, these portraits raise questions about our place as individuals in history, and the role that photographic technologies have played in defining identity since photography’s earliest days. Kevin, an actor and national radio host known as “the Voice,” sat for me when I was shooting portraits at an artist residency in Syracuse, New York. Kevin struck this pose, telling me that he had been practicing it in a mirror that morning. His pose was perfect, and I knew immediately that this was the image to represent our brief encounter.