Victor with Red Flower | 12″ x 18″ | Archival print | 2020
Christopher Cushman’s work responds to the inequities and inequalities that have been accepted by other white photographers: their desire to transform the black male into a numbed art object. In a world where whites are being asked to shed their privilege as a first step towards greater equality, it is vital that white photographers combat the negative aspects of the white gaze. For more than 30 years Christopher Cushman has approached this issue by stepping out of the creative control hierarchy of Photographer over Model. By establishing a safe and comfortable environment that allows the model full agency, he has worked collaboratively with his co-artists, to create images that speak to them first and foremost. Taking this one step further, he shares the financial outcome from the sales of his work with each participant. His methodology strives to equalize the photographic process and remove barriers created by Otherness.