Tag Archives: Aperture


The subjects in [my] early portraits were friends or acquaintances I was just getting to know, some of whom would become good friends, some with whom I would eventually lose touch. Some I have reconnected with. It was important in deciding to make portraits that they be of people with whom I desired friendship, platonic or romantic relationships. It was also a conscious decision that, regardless of the nature of our connection, the photographs would depict them as if they were, could be, or had been a lover. I wanted that kind of desire to be the foundation, to go all the way and then negotiate back.Paul Mpagi Sepuya*

PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA—the artist’s first institutional monograph—is out now. Co-published by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Aperture, the book surveys Sepuya’s various photographic series over the last ten years, and features essays by Malik Gaines, Lucy Gallun, Ariel Goldberg, Lisa Melandri, Evan Moffitt, and Grace Wales Bonner, with an artist interview by curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi.

For a discussion presented by Printed Matter in anticipation of its forthcoming virtual book fair, Sepuya will join Al-Khudhairi in conversation. See link below to register for this online event.


Printed Matter

Monday, December 14.

5 pm on the West Coast; 8 pm East Coast.

*“Interview with Paul Mpagi Sepuya by Wassan Al-Khudhairi,” in PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA (St. Louis: Contemporary Art Museum; New York: Aperture, 2020).

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 17, 2019–August 18, 2019; Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, October 19, 2019–March 14, 2020. Organized by Wassan Al-Khudhaiti, chief curator, with Misa Jeffereis, assistant curator.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, from top: Darkroom Mirror (_2070386), 2017; Self Portrait Holding Joshua’s Hand, 2006; A Portrait (0X5A6109), 2017; Mirror Study (4R2A0857), 2016; Studio Wall (_1000021), 2018; A Portrait (File0085), 2015 [Evan Moffitt]; Paul Mpagi Sepuya exhibition catalog cover courtesy and © Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Aperture, image—Darkroom Mirror (_2060999), 2017 (detail)—© the artist; Paul Mpagi Sepuya, The Conditions, Team Gallery, New York, installation view—Sepuya’s Model Study (0X5A3973), 2017 at left—photograph by Jason Mandella, image courtesy the artist and Team Gallery; A Portrait (0X5A8325), 2018; Orifice (0X5A6982), 2018; Aperture (_2140020), 2018. Images © Paul Mpagi Sepuya, courtesy of the artist.


Wondrous stuff crops up in her imagery, stuffing itself into her sight. — Gordon Parks on Ming Smith

Join CAAM and Aperture for a conversation with Ming Smith on the occasion of the imminent publication of her book, Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph. The artist will be joined by the book’s editor Brendan Embser, and contributors Yxta Murray and Namwali Serpell.

Smith’s monograph is copublished by Aperture and Documentary Arts. Signed copies are available for purchase at Eso Won Books. See link below to r.s.v.p. to the online discussion.


California African American Museum

Thursday, November 12.

5 pm on the West Coast; 8 pm East Coast.

Ming Smith, from top: Self Portrait (Total), 1986, courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery; America Seen Through Stars and Stripes, New York City, New York Painted, 1976, courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery; God, Mary, JesusPittsburgh, 1991, from the series August Moon for August Wilson; Desire, 1988, from the Transcendence Series, courtesy Jenkins Johnson Gallery; Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph (2020) spread and cover images courtesy and © the artist and Aperture (2); Me as Marilyn, 1991; Beauty, Coney Island, 1976, courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery; Sun Ra Space II, New York City, 1978, courtesy Jenkins Johnson Gallery; Oopdeedoo, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY, circa 1972, courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery. Images © Ming Smith, courtesy of the artist.


From my first night at The Other Side—the drag queen bar in Boston in the ’70s—I came to life. I fell in love with one of the queens and within a few months moved in with Ivy and another friend. I was eighteen and felt like I was a queen too. Completely devoted to my friends, they became my whole world. Part of my worship of them involved photographing them. I wanted to pay homage, to show them how beautiful they were. — Nan Goldin*

Following the 2019 Steidl* publication of an expanded and updated version of Goldin’s 1992 book The Other Side, Librairie Marian Goodman presents a selection of the artist’s earliest photographic works.


Through July 25.

Librairie Marian Goodman

66 rue du Temple, 3rd, Paris.

See Ballad, Aperture’s Summer 2020 issue on Goldin and her world.

Nan Goldin, from top: Roommate as Blonde Venus, Boston, 1973; Naomi in the leather dress, Boston, 1973; Roommate in her chair, Boston, 1072; Roommate with teacup, Boston, 1973; Colette modeling in the Beauty Parade, Boston, 1973; Best friends going out, Boston, 1973; Roommate in the kitchen, Boston, 1972; Roommate after the bar at home, Boston, 1973. Images courtesy and © the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.


In conjunction with Aperture‘s Virginia Woolf-inspired ORLANDO exhibition and edition, Tilda Swinton—currently co-starring in Joanna Hogg‘s brilliant new film The Souvenir—and B. Ruby Rich will talk about “images and writings that celebrate gender fluidity, curiosity, and life without limits.”*


Wednesday, May 29, at 6:30 pm.

New York Public Library, Celeste Bartos Forum

476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street), New York City.

Virginia Woolf‘s 1928 novel Orlando—inspired by her lover Vita Sackville-West—was made into a 1992 film written and directed by Sally Potter, starring Tilda Swinton, Quentin Crisp, and Jimmy Somerville.

From top: Tilda Swinton (left), in the title role of Orlando, with Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth I; Virginia Woolf; Vita Sackville-West; Aperture 235, Summer 2019 issue; Swinton in Orlando. Images courtesy and © the artists, filmmakers, and publishers.


Join co-hosts Edward Enninful and Hari Nef (among others) in honoring Kwame Brathwaite, Zackary DruckerInez Van Lamsweerde, and Vinoodh Matadin at APERTURE’s 65-anniversary gala.

Justin Vivian Bond and St. Beauty will perform, and the evening will feature a video by Inez and Vinoodh, with a soundtrack by Anohni.


ELEMENTS OF STYLE—2017 APERTURE GALA, Monday, October 30, from 6 pm to midnight.

IAC BUILDING, 555 West 18th Street, New York City.



APERTURE—ELEMENTS OF STYLE issue, available now.


Image credit: Aperture.