FEAR INTO FIRE: Reclaiming Black Male Identity Through the Art of Tattooing

Reception: February 16th, 2011, 5pm before Black Men Speak Without Words, panel discussion with the curator and artists


FEAR INTO FIRE explores the body as a space for archiving memories and telling stories through the art of tattooing. Inspired by young black males of the Hip Hop generation who extensively mark their bodies, this exhibition draws attention to the meanings and connections between the body and the tattoo. The subjects of this show are not only talking back to a society that renders them invisible but resisting their own oppression by taking control of their bodies that have been policed by systems of institutional racism. As this photographic exhibition centers on topics of representation, identity and personal narrative each image engages questions of the body and the use of the tattoo as a mode for individuality, beauty, community and masculinity. While the intent of the images are to challenge contemporary notions in the mainstream media, the emphasis on the tattoo explores the identity, culture and experience of African American men.

Exhibition Programming: Programming:

Panel Discussion: Say it Loud: Black Men Speak Without Words, a conversation with the curator, artists and individuals featured in the exhibition. Moderated by Natalie Y. Moore. February 16, 6-7:30pm, Stage 2, 618 S Michigan Ave.

Artists: Shasta Bady, Akintola Hanif, Jamel Shabazz and Jabari Zuber


Press Contact:



Press and Reviews:

Chicagoist review " The Word Made Flesh" 


Interview with Curator

Nicole Harrison