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"This work looks into the intersection of spirituality in movement, struggle in black legacy, and the role natural instinct plays in human creation. I sojourned to Alvin Ailey’s place of baptism, Navasota River in East Texas, to recreate “Take Me to the Water,” one installment of Ailey’s three-part Revelations

Unfortunately, most of what I captured this day has disappeared. I had to trust that the work shown would convey my message. Think of these images as testament to the unyielding power of freedom." —Cary Fagan

[Alvin Ailey], 2018. Cary Fagan. Courtesy of the artist.
[Alvin Ailey], 2018. Cary Fagan. Courtesy of the artist.


Cary Fagan

Starting with the requisite 35mm and working my way up to 120mm (medium format) has taught me to be patient with the process. My brief stint in art school led me to be more pragmatic in the ways I wanted to learn and master my medium. I spent a decade developing a consistent style with my own set of skills. I learned the ins and outs of each of my cameras. Being able to give myself constructive criticism on each photo—how it could have been shot differently and how to use this knowledge for the next session—makes my aesthetic and artistic direction uniquely my own. It humbles me to hear someone say “just shoot it your way” since much of my work is inspired by dreams, memories, human emotion, and human interaction. I believe each image captured is a fresh wound…and will later develop a scar.

Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey at Jacob's Pillow, date unknown. John Lindquist. © Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Man of Change

Alvin Ailey

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