John Edmonds Awarded UOVO Prize for Emerging Brooklyn Artists

John Edmonds Awarded UOVO Prize for Emerging Brooklyn Artists

by Christina DeConcini

Brooklyn photographer John Edmonds has several reasons to celebrate today.

After becoming well-known for his nuanced, modern depictions of Black youth, culture, and queer desire, the artist has been officially named to this year's Time 100 Next list. He is also the first-ever winner of the new UOVO Prize, presented by the Brooklyn Museum to an emerging artist living or working in the borough. As part of the prize, Edmonds will have a mural of his work on prominent display.

UOVO revealed the design for the massive 35 x 49 foot mural, which will display Edmond's new work on the facade of their new UOVO: BROOKLYN art storage facility in Bushwick. The mural, "A Lesson In Looking With Reverence," will be on view from this Friday, November 15 until next fall.

In addition to the mural, Edmonds receives a $25,000 unrestricted cash award and a solo show at the Museum in May 2020. The mural will feature Edmonds' photograph "Whose Hands? (2019)," along with notations from Susan M. Vogel's Baule: African Art, Western Eyes beneath it. The work "strives to represent the layered history of African art objects." Visitors of the mural can also pick up a newsprint created by Edmonds.

"Susan M. Vogel's Baule: African Art, Western Eyes has been a source that I have returned to repeatedly to understand my own positionality as an African-American artist looking at such layered material of the diaspora," Edmonds said about the project. "Ultimately, I hope this work can exist as a threshold for museums and institutions to move forward with equity and repair."

This project caps off a successful year for Edmonds, who is currently part of the group exhibition Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall, currently showing at the Brooklyn Museum through December 8. He also was featured in this year's Whitney Biennial with his photograph, "The Villain."

Photo courtesy of UOVO Art