Jah Grey Putting Ourselves Together

Mar 28–May 25
    Jah Grey, Oge Anthony Classic, (Stylist: Uche Uba Creative Directors: Jah Grey, Uche Uba, and Pris Zim), 2024. Courtesy of the artist
Jah Grey, Oge Anthony Classic, (Stylist: Uche Uba Creative Directors: Jah Grey, Uche Uba, and Pris Zim), 2024. Courtesy of the artist

This solo exhibition by Jah Grey features portraits of trans women, drag queens, and non-binary individuals from Lagos, Nigeria who exude romance and reverence. Created with Nigerian creative director Uche Uba, these photographs are part of UnCommon Beauty, a 2022 docuseries by Priscilla Nzimiro Nwanah, paying tribute to activists like Fola Francis who fight for LGBTQ2S+ rights against Nigeria’s criminalizing laws. Challenging the rigid norms of respectability and politeness, each portrait embodies the indomitable aspiration for being true to oneself. Putting Ourselves Together presents self-assembly as a visual testament to revolutionary love and radical imagination.

Curated by Joséphine Denis

Presented by BAND in partnership with CONTACT

Jah Grey is a self-taught photographer whose portraiture explores the nuances and complexity of Black masculinity through the experiences of a Black Transman. His work challenges binary gender norms and promotes broader understandings of identity and belonging. Grey’s photographs have been displayed in prestigious venues worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Ford Foundation Gallery. His work has been featured in publications like Huffington Post and Afropunk NYC. Additionally, Grey founded the Black Men’s Therapy Fund to address the mental health needs of Black men, underscoring his commitment to social change through art and activism.

Joséphine Denis, born in Haiti and raised in Port-au-Prince and New York, is a curator and writer whose work focuses on BIPOC spaces. She advocates for Black diasporic art and its deeper engagement, to foster a nuanced understanding and recognition of the specific contexts surrounding contemporary practices.Her work, rooted in community dialogue, is guided by her kin. Her writing appears in RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting (Phi, Hirmer, 2020), Pierre Francois Ouellette art Contemporain, and Ada x, among others. Denis has worked at Serpentine Galleries, London; Faurschou Foundation, Beijing; SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Tiohtià:ke; and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Tkaronto.