(Image Source @kingtexas)
Named as one of the top 12 African American photographers you should follow right now, Texas Isaiah was raised in Brooklyn, New York. Born in 1986, this first generation Black indigenous artist is here to dismantle the normative gender roles and experience of Trans life as we know it, after spending years capturing the NYC nightlife with New Pop media and co-producing and photographing for Live At The Loft.
As an individual who identifies as a trans man, and as a portraitist who’s interested in people, places, and stories, Isaiah describes himself as a visual narrator using his camera to capture stories within frames. Using color and black and white, his featured individuals tell tales of complex emotions and individuality, and are depictive of the bond between the shooter and subject. Hoping to eliminate the gap between the two, Isaiah claims that his portraits are a testimony of how it’s like to be seen and loved when photographed. In other words, his photos have been said to depict the love between him and his subject and the tender bond he shares with his subject.
In a stunning self-portrait taken in 2016, Texas hold his knees to his chest and holds a bright red rose pointing towards the ground, evoking melancholia and grace that the human body is capable of feeling. Using subjects who are mostly Black, Brown and part of the TLGBTQIA+ community, his soulful pictures promote a personal narrative of limited life opportunities. Having grown up around people who felt confined and rooted to their current situation, Isaiah uses his photography to create effortless relationships with his Black subjects, keeping the gender binary at bay, and being more true to the self.
Isaiah cultivated a love for topophilia, the love for a place. Using his art, he hopes to answer the question of how much love a body feels to its surroundings, and how welcomed and wanted it is in its surroundings. His recent series “My Name Is My Name” was a narrative about his ancestry and self-identity and explored self-communion and celebrated the thin line where private pain and communal transformation merged into one. Having done the series in a period of mourning and grief, Isaiah Texas’ series is a beautiful story of how an individual can create their own healing space and begin to dictate their own narrative in a world where there’s no place for them.
Focusing on the plight of Black, trans men, Isaiah’s work merges the binary male and female genders, blurring the lines that divide what gender and sex stand for. Using subjects with darker skins and those whose sexuality is shunned by the status quo, Texas Isaiah is here to change the way we experience gender in society.
An advocate for rest, self-love, self-acceptance and breaking out of the box, Isaiah’s future plans as his journey unfolds are to be a better person and a brilliant visual narrator