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Wed, 05.10.1944

Anthony Barboza, Photographer born

Anthony Barboza

*Anthony Barboza was born on this date in 1944.  He is a Black photographer, historian, artist and writer.

From New Bedford, Massachusetts, he has family roots in Cape Verde.  From work that began in commercial art more than forty years ago, Barboza’s artistic talents and successful career helped him to cross over and pursue his passions in the fine arts, where he continues to contribute to the American art scene.

Barboza has a prolific and wide range of traditional and innovative works inspired by Black thought, exhibited in public and private galleries and prestigious museums and educational institutions worldwide. He is well known for his photographic work of jazz musicians from the 1970s and 80s. Many of these works are in his book Black Borders, published in 1980 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In an article in 1984 in The City Sun, he said, "When I do a portrait, I’m doing a photograph of how that person feels to me; how I feel about the person, not how they look. I find that in order for the portraits to work, they have to make a mental connection as well as an emotional one. When they do that, I know I have it." Many of his photographs achieve his signature effect through lighting and shadows, manipulation of the backdrop, measured adjustments to shutter speeds, composition, and many other techniques and mediums at his command.

His conceptual photographic artwork exhibit, Black Dreams/White Sheets, has toured internationally and was shown for the first time in New York City at the Bill Hodges Gallery in November and December 2010.  Barboza takes a critical look at the role and experiences of the African Diaspora in the historical as well as the contemporary context of race, sexuality, gender, politics, and social issues in American society and culture. 

To Become a Photographer


Image: Michele Papavasiliou

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