D'Angelo Lovell Williams
(b. 1992, Jackson, Mississippi; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York)
Undetectable, 2020. Digital photograph. Courtesy of the artist
This work shows touch, kinship and intimacy as aspects of life that are still happening, though they may be publicly disregarded at the moment. I depict people kissing, while wearing protective masks and exhaling smoke. The masks are a part of daily life and the smoke is visible in the air, unlike Covid-19. The idea is about taking the risk to live, even when it can and has resulted in death. I'm Black, gay and HIV positive. Many of the people in my images are. There is still stigma surrounding HIV, Blackness and queerness in the wake of the pandemic. With the history of Black and queer narratives in mind, and our altered states of living and interacting, it felt necessary to continue to visualize love in more nuanced ways.
D'Angelo Lovell Williams is a participant in Art on the Grid, a citywide, open-air exhibition presented by Public Art Fund. Conceived in the spring of 2020, the exhibition features 50 artists’ reflections on the converging crises of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism in our country.