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Wardell Milan

is an American visual artist residing in New York City. His work consists of drawing, painting, and photography, as well as constructing three-dimensional dioramas.


I was thinking about the death of a generation of Black gay men as I was creating these new collages. Looking through a book of images by Robert Mapplethorpe, I considered how his images of Black men, the Black male body, and Black male sexuality were shaped by his white gaze. Was it possible for me, as a Black queer artist, to not only alter, if you will, how people approached the now iconic images, but to suggest or evoke to the viewer a Black gaze—that of other Black, gay men?


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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