Eric Hart Jr.: When I Think about Power
Sumptuous and tender portraits of an empowered Black queer experience.
Eric Hart Jr.’s black-and-white photo series presents more than 70 portraits focusing on the notion of power as it relates to the Black queer experience. Begun in 2019, When I Think About Power investigates and expands the contemporary reimagining of men through themed chapters. “I'm fascinated with the intersectionality and the layers of what it means to be Black in the modern day,” he has said. “From masculinity, queerness, to dress, I strive to utilize image-making in a way that displays people like myself in all of their power and all of their beauty.” Hart's approach stems from his own journey toward self-acceptance growing up in Macon, Georgia. By visually exploring the differences and similarities between himself and the men who surround him, studying the words of Black queer icons and researching the visibility of power in eras such as the Ming dynasty or ancient Egypt, Hart has created an iconography of a power that so many queer individuals seek.
The work of Brooklyn-based photographer Eric Hart Jr. (born 1999) has been published in Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, the New York Times and i-D magazine, and has been praised by artists such as Beyoncé and Spike Lee. Hart is a two-time Gordon Parks scholar, a 2022 Forbes 30 under 30 Art & Style choice, and in 2020 was named one of Men's Health magazine's “20-year-old mavericks changing America.”