Theme and Variation
Theme and Variation is an exhibition of photographic collages that are based on re-imagining studio portraits of middle class African Americans from the Exhibition of American Negroes organized by W.E.B. Du Bois and Thomas Calloway for the 1900 Paris World Expo. This exhibition continues the visual transformation the figures have undergone for a number of years; in this phase subjects are transiting into abstract forms. Influenced by 19th century pseudo-sciences’ incorporation of photography and R&B, Theme and Variation expands the artist’s work into abstract representations breaking down simple reads and understanding of the figures.
Theme and Variation is made possible in part by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. This is the twenty-sixth exhibition by the ICA since 2011.
Antonio McAfee is a photographer based in Baltimore, MD. He received his BFA in Fine Art Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Shortly after, he earned his MFA in Photography from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2011, he received a Post-Graduate Diploma in Arts and Culture Management from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa). His fascination with history, portraiture, and what makes up photographs drives his activities. McAfee has been featured in BmoreArt Magazine, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mission on Tenth published by California Institute of Integrated Studies, and catalogues published by the University of Pennsylvania and Corcoran College of Art and Design. He has participated in residencies at Can Serrat (Spain) and Vermont Studio Center. Antonio was awarded the Maryland State Individual Artist Award, Civil Society Institute Fellowship, Fulbright IIE Grant to Johannesburg, South Africa, and Dedalus MFA Painting and Sculpture Fellowship. His work has been exhibited at the Academy Art Museum, University of Maryland College Park, George Washington University, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Civilian Art Projects, and Terrault Contemporary. Antonio is currently an instructor at American University.