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The Masons’ Photographs Champion Black Beauty

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Straddling the line between portraiture and fashion, London-based photography and film duo The Masons create images that spell out new perspectives on representation and beauty; their work reveals the multidimensionality of black existence and the power of vulnerability.

Their images are intimate and timeless, and their style is bold and dramatic. Partners in life and business, Maruska and Donna-Marie Mason are known for their exquisite photography and for their unapologetic engagement with dark skin. The duo’s imagery is defined by a relaxed sensitivity, and stands out for its exploration of diversity, equality, and creativity. Through their advertising, editorial, fashion, and portraiture photography, The Masons tell compelling tales of black existence, capturing not only the physical beauty of their subjects, but also their aura, the personalities of the models, and their stories.

Challenging outdated notions of beauty and complicating the imagination of Eurocentric fashion photography with honest, empowering, and positive representations of people of color, the duo’s images create a new sensibility to the responsibility of representation, by normalizing black culture in the commercial fashion forum. Their stunning photographic series’ showcases diversity and celebrates black women and female energy, and the wide spectrum of masculinities, as well as the richness and strength of melanin. They create space for emotional honesty and freedom, inviting viewers to embrace multidimensionality, and positioning vulnerability as a site of power, and most importantly, resistance.

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All images © The Masons