Phillip Loken is a Raleigh, NC-based multimedia artist offering a unique approach to the documentation of Black southern culture, encompassing some of what you’re familiar with and some of what you’re not. His mediums are video art, digital photography and analog photography; working in genres including fine art, documentary, character study, landscape, fashion and concert. Phill is currently experimenting with expired film, 35mm, 110 and APS film formats.
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I’m a 27 year old Raleigh-based black photographer, driven by community, black identities and realness. Being black and from the south (born in Texas, raised all throughout North Carolina), we are the original “African American”; due to slavery. With my work, I hope to capture some of the raw realities of black people in the South -- the authentic, fluid range of existences and experiences that society often does not acknowledge or cherish. With a perspective-driven focus, I hope to capture southern African American life and its rich culture, from food and music to the people, and even the land. Our culture is always an inspiration and influence that could never be unseen in my work.
I take pride in the fact that a large majority of my subjects are black people. As a black photographer, I feel a deep responsibility to tell the stories of people in our communities, because all too often our narratives are controlled by people who don’t look like or understand us. We are beautiful people, with multifaceted lives full of complexity and many other elements. Throughout my visual art career, I aim to consistently produce socially engaging and meaningful work that lets those without a voice be heard. My work, as a whole, will continue to be a self portrait of anyone who feels they aren’t seen; it will let them know they matter, are powerful and are capable of anything.