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Angelic visitations, and their historical depiction in classical painting, stood at the root of the series Melanogenesis. Melanogenesis, so named for the complex process by which the body creates the pigment melanin, also draws inspiration, in terms of framing, subject positioning and lighting, from renaissance paintings. We focused on recreating this visual style of imaging the divine; the golden halos, the reflection of these tones in the natural setting, and the characters present are an afro-futurist recreation of renaissance Christian iconography. In creating these images, we were considering how the “divinity” of pastoral settings in photography has historically been a space devoid of representations of non-white subjects in early photography.

Shot in Point Reyes, California. June, 2017.