L. Kasimu is an exhibition curated by Kamau Ware featuring the work of New Orleans-based creative. L. Kasimu Harris. The exhibition opens on Friday May 13 at Warehouse Gallery in Brooklyn and is both a presentation of the photography of L. Kasimu and a residency of his creative process that is influenced by his love for fashion, journalism, food, and music. This is his first exhibition in New York City.
Ware, also a storyteller, selected Harris’ War on the Benighted, a narrative series of constructed reality photographs of students. Students who became so frustrated with the inequalities in education, they rise up and began a quest to educate themselves. Their grievances are with the school-to-prison pipeline, emphasis on standardized testing and an ever-diminishing arts curriculum.
Harris’ first solo exhibition, “Dreams Do Come True,” investigated his dreams and subconscious thoughts, garnered national and international attention. The title photograph was included in the opening credits of season four for HBO’s Treme. Another print from that exhibition “All Tied Up,” featuring Malcolm Jenkins, former New Orleans Saint, was exhibited by the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. The Multimedia Museum in Moscow featured his “7th Ward Chess Club” print in its New Orleans Culture in Photographs exhibition curated by Frank Relle. This print later received an Honorable Mention in the Louisiana Contemporary exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. In 2015, Harris was in both The Rising and Louisiana Contemporary at the Ogden. His inclusion in The Rising garnered him coverage in The New York Times and NPR. He was also in the Dandy Lion (Re) Articulating Black Masculinity exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago that is now a traveling exhibition and currently on display at the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco. Harris' second solo exhibition, The 10 Year Journey: Reflections of Family, Identity and New Orleans, ran from August to November 2015 at the George & Leah McKenna Museum of Art and garnered positive reviews. John d’Addario, an art writer with The New Orleans Advocate, wrote: "Harris' images manage to stand out for their unusually intimate point of view and moments of quiet, sharply observed intensity." Harris closed out 2015 in-group exhibition, SAMO Journey, at PORT for PhotoNOLA, a citywide celebration of photography. That show also featured Tiffany Smith, a Brooklyn based photographer, and Vitus Shell, a visual artist from Monroe, La., and Harris debuted a video in addition to new photos. This year, he was tapped for the cover and a photo essay for the Summer 2016 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine.
Harris is unafraid to step in front of the camera. In 2012, he was featured in the Wallpaper City Guide: New Orleans, an internationally distributed paperback book. Harris was the opening image for Southern Living’s March 2013 issue for their feature on the “South’s Most Stylish Cities,” where he’s dubbed as “the Bill Cunningham of the Crescent City,” a reference to the long-time street style photographer for The New York Times. He was also featured in the December 2013 issue of Travel & Leisure. He was also included in the September 2015 style issue of Esquire for "Fifty Men Looking Their Best."
“L. Kasimu is the exhibition of the future. It’s more than a showing of an artist’s work but an invitation to join the artist’s creative practice. L. Kasimu Harris is perfect for this exploration of visual storytelling because he sees the narrative in many facets - food, fashion, music, and journalism.” - Kamau Ware, Curator