Eye Dreaming: Photographs by Anthony Barboza (Hardcover)
Anthony Barboza (b. 1944) is a celebrated artist and writer who has made thousands of photographs in the studio and on the street since 1963. A member of the Kamoinge collective of photographers in New York, Barboza is largely self-taught and has an inimitable, highly intuitive vision that he refers to as “eye dreaming,” or “a state of mind that’s almost like meditation.” Throughout the years he has made countless commercial images, including celebrity portraits, advertisements, and album covers. His personal photographic projects illuminate his deep investment in the art and concerns of Black communities, not only in the United States but also around the globe.
This lavishly illustrated volume follows Barboza’s prolific career from his youth in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to his formative years in New York in the 1960s, to the present day. An introduction by renowned author and critic Hilton Als underscores Barboza’s importance and impact. An essay by curator Aaron Bryant contextualizes Barboza’s life and career as they map against major civil rights events in the United States. In an intimate interview between the artist and curator Mazie M. Harris, Barboza offers astute, humorous, and intimate musings on his long career, foundational influences, and artistic legacy. This monograph, the first on the artist, will appeal to aficionados of photography and Black art and culture.
Aaron Bryant is curator of photography and visual culture at the National Museum of African American History & Culture, Smithsonian Institution.
Mazie M. Harris is assistant curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Her research focuses on American photography. She is the author of Paper Promises: Early American Photography (Getty, 2018).
“Barboza’s creative talent is unmatched, as anyone fortunate enough to be part of his photo shoots will tell you. Let him take you on this journey through decades of photographs of everyday life, beauty, and culture.”
“Sometimes words just didn't cut it—we needed pictures. That's where Barboza came in. Whether they be musicians, painters, poets or orators, very few have captured the essence of Blackness as Barboza has."
“Anthony Barboza’s work has a dynamic quality of motion that always captures the restless inner lives of his subjects. His images reveal their interior selves as richly as they do their exterior selves. He sees into them, and they unfold before his gaze and our eyes.”
—Nelson George, author and filmmaker
“I loved every page of this book. Eye Dreaming is magical. It is a panorama of the photographer’s life in image making focusing on the beauty and trauma of Black life. The compelling text by the writers brilliantly expands the visual narratives. Barboza’s portraits of Black creatives from writers to poets, fashion models to painters, photographers to musicians portrays a fascinating history that is long overdue. It is a must have!”
—Deborah Willis, author of Posing Beauty in African American Culture
"Anthony Barboza produces photographs with a curious eye, creating unique images of surreal, and quiet moments that capture the essence of his subjects. You feel Barboza’s images taking us to a higher place to experience his creativity through his camera lens.”
—Sheila Pree Bright, photographer, artist, and author
"Tony Barboza is a genius—few photographers capture the beauty of Black women like he can."
—Audrey Smaltz, former model, fashion columnist and entrepreneur
“In this sensational collection, photographer Barboza’s body of work is celebrated in all its glory. . . . It’s a gorgeous addition to the shelf of any art book collector.”
— Publishers Weekly
“The first monograph on this significant American photographer, thorough and handsomely designed.”
— Michael Dashkin
“Impressive, informative, and beautifully published monograph from the J. Paul Getty Museum.”
— Midwest Book Review
“As the first artist to photograph Grace Jones, the mastermind behind the celebrated “Black Borders” portrait series, and the man who shot model Pat Evans with Isaac Hayes for Essence—bringing the beauty of Black bald women to the mainstream—Barboza has been an integral force in shaping the visual language of contemporary photography.”
— Miss Rosen
“The book will appeal to fans of Black art and culture.”
— Seth Chitwood