Tyler Mitchell Is Making Us Feel Good

The photographer’s first-ever U.S. exhibition has just opened its doors on Lower East Side.

The Brooklyn-based photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell has just opened a second iteration of his solo photography exhibition titled I Can Make You Feel Good. With the original exhibition opening in Amsterdam’s Foam photography museum last spring, this show marks Mitchell’s first solo exhibition in America.

Available to view at the International Center of Photography’s new Lower East Side building, the show features Mitchell’s personal works as well as the editorials commissioned by big industry players. In the words of the artist himself, this whole exhibit is a response to the lack of images where Black people are visualized as being free, happy; having fun just like the white models do. 

“I feel an urgency to visualize Black people as free, expressive, effortless, and sensitive,” Mitchell explained. “I aim to visualize what a Black utopia looks like or could look like. People say utopia is never achievable, but I love the possibility that photography brings. It allows me to dream and make that dream become very real.”

Throughout his work, Mitchell wants to revitalize and elevate the Black body by representing people in his community as joyful and proud, using natural light and candy-color palettes. It truly is the image of a Black utopia — a big contrast to the representations and experiences of reality — that offers a powerful and hopeful counternarrative for the Black community.

I Can Make You Feel Good is simply a declaration. And one that, for me, is gut-punching in its optimism,” the artist shared. “It feels important at a time like this to declare such a thing.”

Mitchell is also hosting a series of multidisciplinary pubic programs and events in the galleries to go along with the exhibition. Coinciding with the exhibit is also the release of Mitchell-designed merch dubbed “Items from the Studio”, all available for purchase at ICP in the coming weeks.

“I Can Make You Feel Good” is on view through May 18, 2020 at International Center of Photography located at 79 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002. 


Discover More