Kendrick Lamar’s ‘ELEMENT’ Video is Now an Inspiring Art Exhibition in NYC

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Gordon Parks is many things: photographer, director, writer, musician. Earlier this year, the artist was heavily referenced in Kendrick Lamar’s “ELEMENT.” video from his Grammy-nominated album DAMN. Now, the two worlds are coming together for a photography exhibit at the Gordon Parks Foundation in Pleasantville—ELEMENT: GORDON PARKS AND KENDRICK LAMAR.

When the video was initially released, The Fader reported that “Multiple scenes from the latest DAMN. visual were directly inspired by the legendary photojournalist.” With twitter users being quick to point out the similarities.

The ELEMENT: GORDON PARKS AND KENDRICK LAMAR exhibition will feature the Gordon Parks photographs that directly inspired the scenes in Lamar’s video.

As the press release mentions, this includes:

“a number of Parks’ images  that explore the lives of Black Americans, including the 1963 photo Boy With Junebug, Untitled, the 1956 photo from Parks’ “Segregation Stories” series, Ethel Sharrieff, a 1963 photo from his “The White Man’s Day Is Almost Over” photo essay about Black Muslims, as well as photos form Parks’ 1948 “Harlem Gang Leader” series.”

The Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation, Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., goes on to mention:

“Gordon Parks’ work is continuing to have a great impact on young people – and particularly on artists like Kendrick who, use the power of imagery to examine issues related to social justice and race in our country…With ELEMENT the music video, Kendrick has helped to call attention to one of the most important artists of our time.”

The exhibit will run from now until February 10. For more information about the ELEMENT: GORDON PARKS AND KENDRICK LAMAR exhibition, check out the details for the event here.

The video which inspired the exhibit is featured below:

Featured image source: By Rena3xdxd (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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