Dawoud Bey

Addison Gallery of American Art

African-American photographer Dawoud Bey, who first garnered widespread recognition in the early ’90s for black-and-white portraits taken on the streets of Harlem, has spent the past fifteen years focusing on diverse populations of teenagers. “Class Pictures,” Bey’s recent exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art, was centered on his depictions of contemporary American adolescence. The work on display—a video titled Four Stories, 2003, and forty large color shots taken between 2003 and 2006—was the result of visits to more than a dozen high schools around the country and was made in close collaboration with students from Andover; Lawrence, MA; Chicago; Detroit; New York; Orlando; and San Francisco.

Bey’s methodology remained consistent throughout his three to four-week visits to each institution: Portrait subjects were asked to write a personal statement to accompany

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