AD Kaya Clark
Photo-Artist, Atlanta, GA
Capturing life in my lens…
Adrianna “Kaya” Clark (b. 1977, Oxford, MS) began her love affair with photography at the age of three. Drawing inspiration from conversations with women of the African diaspora about life, love, and living, she captures her subjects in natural light. Her intention is to capture their natural beauty, thus she uses a nominal amount of retouching and photoshop, choosing instead to embrace what some would call imperfections. Clark sees every individual in her lens as a muse.
In 2013, Clark staged her first solo exhibition, the Pin-up Project in response to the lack of representation of women of color - specifically Black women - she found in her research. She sought to challenge the ideals of beauty and blackness by presenting Black women through a female gaze that brought their sensuality to the forefront. This contradiction to the narrative of sexless, domesticity led to her Warrior Women series that showed strength as a positive attribute and honored the generations of diasporic women that came before them. Once again drawing on the diversity and tribulations of her friends and inspired by Renee Cox’s self-love movement, Clark began recontextualizing works by artists like Alberto Vargas to reveal a style all her own to present provocative imagery on the commentary of colorism, racism, and sexism.
Her experience as an educator influences and informs her photographs. From carefully constructed compositions and collages to candids of artists at work, exhibition openings, programming, and installation images, Clark is able to embrace the essence of existential and collective individuality from every angle.