Who is blvxmth ?

Posted by Stefan Henry on

 

 

1.) how did you come up with the name “blvxmth” ? 

 “ I’m a black artist...in the world I find that one always has to expound on what being black means, not to imply that black people are monolithic.

What is in this name is an infinitely dense concept. The most universal definition is:

blvxmth is everything, the fabric of the universe is black and a smith is a what....an Architect. There is a lot in this name and anyone can find agency in being a master of their own destiny.

I consider myself on a path to mastering composing with blacks visually. Although the name or proper noun seeks to identify a particular person...blvxmth is specific and encompassing. The lowercase b is also intentional. It’s reaching.

Structurally the lack of vowels and disjointed nature of the spelling illustrates an inherent relationship/contrast when it comes to individual identity and identifying with a larger diasporic community.

The difference between the pronunciation and the way it looks also points to how memory functions and how it is cultural. A testament to oral tradition.

The lowercase b is also In consideration of the environment. As a reminder not to come from a place of imposition or usurping in relation to the environment.

blvxmth is an ode to my father’s legacy and points to a void of an even broader legacy.

blvxmth poses the question are we moving through time /acknowledges the perception of time as moving through us.

In summation blvxmth in it’s inception is an identity built to combat the devaluation of human life in an industrialized time with photography.

I came up with the name in middle school when I realized I was an artist and that for the rest of my life I would have to negotiate my identity with institutions.”

 

2.) when did you discover your passion for photography ?

 “I first discovered my passion for photography skateboarding and then was explored more by traveling. Finally, I knew I wanted to become an artist after Katrina. As corny as it sounds my passion was fully cemented in me after that experience.”

 

3.) in one word, how would you describe your style of photography ? I wouldn’t.

 4.) In your work you tend to gravitate towards shooting with film. Can you explain that approach and do you prefer film over digital or does it depend on the particular shot/shots you’re trying to get ?

“I’d like to say yes, but it just depends on the image/concept. But honestly at the end of the day for me, nothing beats natural light on film and the archival capacity of recording on film.”

 

5.) I recently learned that you also develop your own film. I’m really intrigued by that as I feel it helps the viewer become more familiar with the photographer’s work and identity. Can you tell me more about that process and the creativity that goes into how you develop film?

“I don’t always have the resources to develop my own film, but when I do I feel closer to the images and more involved in the “making” of them.”

 7.) Do you have a particular lens that you prefer to shoot with and why ?

“I like to shoot on a 35mm lens because I feel like the look of it is more true to life.”

 

8.) Is there a particular moment you’ve captured that stands out from the rest? or are they all equally special to you in some way ? That may be tough because you’ve definitely captured some amazing moments but if there was a top 2 or 3?

“I’m usually most excited about my latest work. I definitely have a favorite at the moment. I can’t wait to show it in person.”

 9.) not limited to photography, Whose art has influenced your work over the years?

“My friends mostly like yourself and family. I feel most excited/inspired among others in real time experiencing life. I was heavily influenced by Lil Wayne especially during his mixtape run, even now. I have always had a lot of respect for musicians.”

 

 10. What’s the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you ? 

 

“ For me photography is about relationships. The most rewarding thing to me about being a photographer are the relationships made. Old ones and new ones and the recontexualization that can teach us about the present. Relationships between other people as well as relationships with time and space and information, matter, life and the shapes they take. My definition of a drawing is “dots that make up lines that make shapes that shape us”. There are so many people and other stuff in my photographs that will be forever related to each other by the photo itself and then there is my relationship to it all and the viewer and so on.”

11.) are there any current projects you’re working on that you can share with us for 2022?

“I’m currently working on a solo show that will be on view in April at F magazine Gallery in Houston TX. I’m super excited about it.” ***