Photography-based artist Tawny Chatmon overlays her already-beautiful photographic portraits with layers of gems, gold leaf, and paint. Not surprisingly, her work has been compared to the hand-gilded pieces produced by Gustav Klimt during his Golden Phase. The artist’s early work focused mainly on girls and women, but more recently, she has begun including men and families in her work.
“My father played such a paramount role in my, my sisters’, and my mother’s lives. It did not sit well with me that I wasn’t celebrating that in my work, too. It has been 10 years since we lost our father to prostate cancer, yet still, his lessons and love carry us through our days. I thought of my husband too, my brother-in-law, my friend’s fathers and husbands, and all of the world’s compassionate fathers and how important they are, and I especially wanted to celebrate Black fathers who are often depicted as anything other than what they truly are… phenomenal.”Tawny Chatmon
Chatmon’s recent work with family groupings is also a nod to the pandemic. She wanted to communicate how fleeting our time together can be, and how precious that time is.