Carrie Mae Weems

born 1953

Carrie Mae Weems, ‘From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried’ 1995–6
From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried 1995–6
© Carrie Mae Weems, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
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Carrie Mae Weems (born April 20, 1953) is an American artist working in text, fabric, audio, digital images and installation video, and is best known for her photography. She achieved prominence through her early 1990s photographic project The Kitchen Table Series. Her photographs, films and videos focus on serious issues facing African Americans today, including racism, sexism, politics and personal identity.

She once said, "Let me say that my primary concern in art, as in politics, is with the status and place of Afro-Americans in the country." More recently however, she expressed that "Black experience is not really the main point; rather, complex, dimensional, human experience and social inclusion ... is the real point." She continues to produce art that provides social commentary on the experiences of people of color, especially black women, in America.

She was named Photographer of the Year by the Friends of Photography. In 2005, she was awarded the Distinguished Photographer's Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the world of photography. Her talents have also been recognized by numerous colleges, including Harvard University and Wellesley College, with fellowships, artist-in-residence and visiting professor positions. She taught photography at Hampshire College in the late 1980s. She was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2013. In 2015 Weems was named a Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow. In September 2015, the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research presented her with the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal. Weems is one of six artist-curators who made selections for Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2019/20.

Weems is Artist in residence at Syracuse University. She lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and Syracuse, New York with her husband Jeffrey Hoone.

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