'Photographs and art tell us who we are': Carrie Mae Weems on art, class and culture

Carrie Mae Weems has been called 'perhaps our greatest living photographer' by the New York Times Magazine.
Carrie Mae Weems with host Tom Power in the q studio in Toronto, Ont. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)

Originally published on May 7, 2019

Carrie Mae Weems is a world-renowned photographer and multimedia artist who's spent decades creating images about the interior lives of black women.

In 2014, Weems became the first black female artist to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York, and the New York Times Magazine has called her "perhaps our greatest living photographer."

Right now, Weems is in Toronto headlining the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. It's her first major solo show in Canada. She joined Tom Power in the q studio to talk about what it means to be called an artist ahead of her time.

"I say this not out of ego, but out of real clarity of understanding: the work is larger than me," said Weems. "Not that I'm just interested in my own celebrity or my own fame, but rather, I'm deeply interested in the field, in expanding the field and what the field can be."

Produced by ​Vanessa Greco



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