Ayana V. Jackson’s work seeks to crystallize the experience of contemporary Africa and African diasporic societies.
She combines honed technical skills with richly laced historical allusions to create hauntingly candid portraits that depict varying constructions of African and African-American identities. She does this through several photographic approaches ranging from reportage and portraiture to performance and studio based practice.
Based between Johannesburg, New York and Paris, Jackson has exhibited her work in association with Gallery MOMO (Johannesburg, RSA), Galerie Baudoin Lebon, (Paris, FR), Primo Marella Gallery (Milan), Galerie Sho Contemporary (Tokyo, Japan), the San Francisco Mexican Museum (USA), Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MoCADA), USA, and the Philadelphia African American Museum (USA).
She received the 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship for Photography and has received grants from the Marguerite Casey Foundation, Inter America Foundation, US State Department as well as the French Institute, the latter supporting her participation in the 2009 Bamako African Photography Biennial.
Public art exhibitions include, “The Space Between Us”, in association with the Ifa Gallery (Berlin/ Stuttgart) and Round 32 of Project Rowhouses in Houston’s 3rd ward (USA).
Her photography has been featured in publications including the exhibition catalogue for “Poverty Pornography & Archival Impulse” produced as a collaborative effort between her Paris and Johannesburg galleries (2013), the exhibition catalogue for her series “African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth” (produced in collaboration with writer/filmmaker Marco Villalobos in 2006), as well as academic journals n.paradoxa, “Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society” (Columbia University), and art reviews such as Art South Africa, Art + Auction, Camera Austria, Afrique in Visu, Proximo Futuro/Next Future (Gulbenkian Foundation) and Dutch based ZAM magazine.