Black Life: Adrian Octavius Walker
Black Life co-curator Ryanaustin Dennis interviews mixed-media artist Adrian Octavius Walker at Pt. 2 Gallery in Downtown Oakland a day before the opening of the Represented Group Exhibition where Walker will be exhibiting new print work. Thinking about what it means to “get what you need” as an artist during our time, Walker discusses his transition to freelance work, how his creative practice has evolved working in a new photographic form, and how he places himself within the canon of art.
Adrian Octavius Walker (b. 1988) is a mixed-media artist based in Chicago, IL by way of St. Louis, MO. His work is inspired by the black body, dynamics of the black family, and archival work related to the African American experience and the untold stories they share.
Working in both film and digital-format photography, Walker creates penetrating portraits influenced by his deep awareness of the nuances that pervade the human experience. In 2015, Walker self-published the book My Lens, Our Ferguson, a documentation of protests against police brutality after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. The book was shortlisted for a Paris Photo-Aperture First PhotoBook award and selected images were featured in a solo exhibition at the University of Alabama and five group exhibitions internationally.
His greatest milestone to date is being one of the prize-winning artists in The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today competition which was on display at the National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. He’s done commissioned work for Apple, Nike, Levi's, Google, and Time Magazine.