Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity seeks to distinguish the historical and contemporary expressions of the Black Dandy phenomenon in popular culture. The first comprehensive exhibition of its kind, this project highlights young men in city-landscapes who defy stereotypical and monolithic understandings of Black masculinity by remixing Victorian-era fashion with traditional African sartorial sensibilities.
Dandy Lion also confronts the myth of the young Black man as “thug” via the juxtaposition of an alternative style of dress. Using the African aesthetic and swagger as a point of departure, dandy lions appropriate classical European fashion elements to articulate a self-actualized identity. The men photographed are exceptional in both style and manners and provide the opportunity for a paradigm shift to occur as it relates to how men of African descent are seen and treated by society-at-large.
Dandy Lion: (Re) Articulating Black Masculine Identity is a traveling exhibition curated by Shantrelle P. Lewis and organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago.
Read Shantrelle P. Lewis's new essay about her curatorial work here.