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Ken West

The Beauty in Everyday Thangs

The Beauty in Everyday Thangs

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The Beauty in Everyday Thangs: Documentary Portraits of Mindfulness and Black Revolutionary Normalcy by Ken West 

A thirteen-year pursuit of beauty found in the overlooked, under-appreciated, and unacknowledged.

— Ken West

After 13 years in the making, award-winning documentary photographer Ken West and his Atlanta-based studio are releasing his latest project, a book of photographs entitled The Beauty of Everyday Thangs, a first of its kind photo collection inspired by the art of mindfulness as a testament to black humanity.  And while the majority of the images are of folk in the midst of what West terms “revolutionary normalcy”, the book also features candid moments with cultural icons like legendary lyricists and activists Clifford “T.I.” Harris, stic of dead prez, British actor and musician Tricky, groundbreaking filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, and others.  The images within its nearly 250 pages have been captured throughout the cities of Havana, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit using West’s collection of film cameras (some as many as 60+ years old).

Ken says of his work, "I thought about how I wanted these images to speak louder than the stars above me. For the moment that I have, I want to use a slice of that time to speak through images to the unsolicited and revolutionary normalcy and poignance of Black people." 

“ Western history does not celebrate the magic of Black moments, the beauty of the normal. Ken West’s astute snapshots of daily life in all its poignancy —the extraordinary moments and the incidental—is changing that.”
— Jen Sudul Edwards, Ph.D., Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art, The Mint Museum


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