• Book cover depicting black man tipping his hat to the viewer, cigarette in mouth
  • book pages, on left is an image of hands with box cutter sharpening pencil
  • book pages, black text on white page
  • book pages, on left is drawing of man looking at viewer tipping his hat, cigarette in mouth
  • book pages, on right is painting of girl's face wearing hat painted in red tones
  • book pages, on left page is drawing of prisoners in striped suits and hats digging with shovels
  • book pages, man shown drawing large scale image - detail of striped suits and shovels
  • book pages, on left is man in glasses sitting in chair, on right is books on shelves
  • back of book, text to left with drawing of woman holding baby to the right

Joel Daniel Phillips + Quraysh Ali Lansana: "Killing the Negative: A Conversation in Art & Verse"

Artist: Joel Daniel Phillips + Quraysh Ali Lansana

Title: "Killing the Negative: A Conversation in Art & Verse"

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 10" x 10.5"

Pages: 212

If art is an imitation of life, as the saying goes, then how does one define art intended to document grim reality? If the brutal, often stark real life is present, is this art? Is truthtelling in the eye of the beholder, or would some consider it “fake news?” Who or what is controlling the narrative and to what ends?

While looking through Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographs from the Great Depression, visual artist Joel Daniel Phillips stumbled upon a haunting image—a 1936 photograph by Walker Evans with a gaping black hole in the center. This chance discovery of a “killed negative” led Phillips and poet Quraysh Ali Lansana into a multi-year collaborative project: Killing the Negative: A Conversation in Art & Verse. Part meditation and part call-and-response, the project is an ekphrastic rejoinder to FSA Director Roy Stryker’s little-known practice of destroying the photographs he found unappealing—exploring complex intersections of representation, truth, and power.

Regular price