Rewriting Black Identity with Devin Morris

Rewriting Black Identity with Devin Morris

Source for all photos: @devinnmorris

Right out of Brooklyn, the studio-based artist Devin N. Morris believes that every object has a heart. With backdrops made from scavenged drapery and furniture, Morris uses his finds contrast bold, monochromatic and elaborate spaces to express his art.

As a child, Morris loved Legos. Using them to build dwellings for his Barbies, he grew into an artist who “thrifts” to make his art come alive. Having attended a high school specializing in engineering, training and dismantling, Morris dwelled deep into the word of constructing spaces which were living entities of their own.

With his work, the 4 Stages of Living Positively, Morris explores the vulnerable and tumultuous word of HIV following his own diagnosis in 2015 – and coming out to his family on World AIDS Day in 2018. Using a barn upstate in New York, Morris adorned the place with his finds: a brown blanket, a wooden chair, several lamps, and venetian blinds behind which Morris stands behind. Using his work to explore the world’s fractured identity and projecting his queer and black identity through his art, Morris aims to create a space to explore the vulnerabilities and softness – all that it entails to be a different man in today’s crazy world.


His art is also very visual, and using the eye-catching props, he uses disjointed finds and his own identity to express how it’s like to be a black man who is queer and has AIDS. Claiming that it doesn’t feel devastating or sad, the artist aims to rewrite the narrative of black men by erasing the shame, fear and stigma associated with AIDS and a certain skin color.


Names as one the Time’s “12 Black Photographers To Follow” and having exhibited work in the La Mama (New York) and in the Museum of Transgender History & Art, Morris uses his medium to explore the humanity that is underlying his own self.