I am fascinated by how we decide on areas of research or subject matter for our art.
Why is one artist endlessly engaged with the landscape while another builds geometric clay vessels or makes abstract videos?
And how do we stick to our original impulses without being swayed by social media algorithms?
My guest for this episode of The Art Biz is Kamal X.
Kamal recently released his book, Black Astronaut, which is a collection of photographs he started after the murder of George Floyd. It was, as you recall, the height of Covid and like many, Kamal was hesitant to travel and be in crowds.
But, as he said, he knew he had to risk it all because the moment was bigger than him.
In our conversation, you’ll hear about how and why Kamal learned photography and how he approaches his subjects on the street.
What I enjoyed most about talking with Kamal is his message. Through photography, he learns about himself, and he shares his positivity through his words and deeds.
He says, “Remember you are the light and you can create and visualize something bigger for yourself.” And he encourages you to be true to yourself and avoid making art for the algorithms.
“I had to risk it all because it was bigger than me.” —Kamal X
Kamal X Quotes
“We are all unknown until we figure it out.”
“I knew I had to risk it all because it was bigger than me.”
“What if I had stayed in the house and watched Netflix?”
“I’m trying to find myself through these moments.”
“America had something to say.”
“You have to listen as a photographer.”
“You are here for a reason. You are special.”
“We are all astronauts in our own way.”
“Remember you are the light and you can create and visualize something bigger for yourself.”
“My career finally started to take off because I chose to go against the algorithm and find myself.”
About My Guest
Kamal X is self-taught documentary photographer currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Photography found Kamal in 2015, after deciding to quit everything to travel the world in honor of his best friend who passed away due to colon cancer.
A hard truth that serves as a major influence in his creative style, which is rooted in telling stories that showcase the hidden truths of humanity that are often misunderstood or overlooked. Recently, Kamal’s 2nd photography book, Black Astronaut, which highlights a nationwide revolution ignited by the pandemic and the passing of George Floyd was released in October of 2023.
Follow him on Instagram @iamkamalx