Devin Allen, the Brilliant Photographer Who Captured Baltimore’s Uprising, Talks Art and Politics

Devin Allen’s photographs of Baltimore’s 2015 uprising in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of Baltimore police thrust the 27-year-old into the media limelight and the belly of the art-world. One of the few amateur photographers to ever have their work appear on the cover of Time magazine, he quickly became a hot ticket on the lecture circuit, a social media star, and snagged critically acclaimed exhibitions of his work. It’s a Hollywood/fairytale movie narrative, except the core of it – and at the core of Allen’s work – is the story of centuries of racial injustice and economic disparity, all of which Allen captures with empathy and a poet’s refined sensibilities.

Also: From the Embers of Protest Comes Vital New Political Art

 In this new interview with Yahoo’s The Weekly Flicker series, he tells of growing up in the same conditions depicted on HBO’s classic (and controversial) series The Wire, but notes that “Once I started photography, I saw the beauty I my city, and I fell in love with it all over again.”

That love comes through in every frame, placing Allen in the tradition of iconic black photographers like Gordon Parks and Roy DeCarava. It makes him part of the in-progress updating of marriage vows between black art and politics, placing him alongside contemporary black artists ranging from directors Ava Duvernay and Khalil Joseph to rappers like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar.

See more of his work here.