Zora J Murff: True Colors

(or, Affirmations in a Crisis)

Zora J Murff: True Colors
Aaron Turner, Legacy Russell, Zora J Murff, Tay Butler, Widline Cadet, Nick Drain, Bill Gaskins, Nick Norman, Sasha Phyars-Burgess, Jay Simple
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True Colors (or, Affirmations in a Crisis) is a chronicle of survival by trailblazing artist Zora J Murff. Murff constructs a manual for coming to terms with the historical and contemporary realities of America' s divisive structures of privilege and caste. Since leaving social work to pursue photography over a decade ago, Murff' s work has consistently grappled with the complicit entanglement of the medium in the histories of spectacle, commodification, and race, often contextualizing his own photographs with found and appropriated images and commissioned texts. True Colors continues that work, expanding to address the act of remembering and the politics of self, which Murff identifies as "the duality of Black patriotism and the challenges of finding belonging in places not made for me-of creating an affirmation in a moment of crisis as I learn to remake myself in my own image. " Nuanced, challenging, and inspiring, True Colors (or, Affirmations in a Crisis) is a must-have monograph by a rising and standout artist. True Colors is the result of the inaugural Next Step Award, a partnership between Aperture and Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, with the generous support of 7G Foundation. An exhibition of the work opened at Baxter St in New York in November 2021.
Zora J Murff (born in Des Moines, Iowa, 1987) is assistant professor of photography at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. In 2019, Murff was named an Aperture Portfolio Prize finalist, a PDN 30 honoree, and a Light Work Artist-in-Residence; he was one of eight artists chosen for the most recent iteration of the Museum of Modern Art' s New Photography series, Companion Pieces: New Photography 2020. Murff' s books include Corrections (2015); LOST, Omaha (2018); and At No Point In Between (2019). His work will be presented at the 2021 Rencontres d' Arles, France, as part of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award. Tay Butler is a multidisciplinary artist currently pursuing his MFA in the University of Arkansas' s photography and studio art program. Widline Cadet is a Haitian artist residing in the United States. Nick Drain is an artist who uses his work to navigate the relationship between Blackness and visibility at the site of the camera. Bill Gaskins is the founding director of the graduate program in Photography + Media & Society at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. Nick Norman is a Kentucky-based artist, writer, and educator. Sasha Phyars-Burgess is a photographer. Her first book, Untitled, was published in 2021. Legacy Russell is executive director and chief curator at the Kitchen in New York. Jay Simple is a visual artist; an AICAD Fellow and assistant professor of photography at Parsons School of Design in New York; and the founder of the Photographer' s Green Book, a resource for inclusion, equity, and diversity within the photographic medium. Aaron Turner is an artist, educator, and independent curator based in Northwest Arkansas. Terence Washington is an art historian and writer. He is currently the project director for Readying the Museum. Rana Young is an artist and visiting assistant professor of art at the University of Arkansas.