Category Archives: Faculty News


Black Portraitures II_Save the Date_Mailchimp Header WITH Corners

The ‘BLACK PORTRAITURE{S} II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories’ conference took place earlier this summer at Villa La Pietra, home of the NYU Florence program. This was the 6th conference in 6 years organized in large part by DPI Chair Deborah Willis, exploring perspectives on the historical and contemporary role played by photography, art, film, literature, and music in referencing the image of the black body in the West. The conference was hugely successful with more than 580 people in attendance including New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray.

Hat tip to DPI administrators Edgar Castillo, Brandy Dyess, Patricia McKelvin, Abi Roucka for their hard work on the front, middle and backend of this endeavor. Other DPI community members in attendance included Dean Allyson Green, Shelley Rice, Ulrich Baer, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Zalika Abdul-Azim, Claudia Mann, Nicole Motta, Kalia Brooks, Hank Willis Thomas and former DPI admin M. Liz Andrews.

Click through for more details, videos of the presentations and performances, and for links to photos and discussions inspired by and included in BLACK PORTRAITURE{S} II >>>



Image by Deborah Willis

Also posted in Department Events Tagged , , , , , |

DPI Chair Deborah Willis Featured on HuffPo


Following on the heels of “Black Portraiture{s} II, Imaging The Black Body and Re-Staging Histories” at NYU Florence, the Huffington Post’s Jacqueline Bishop has written up an informative essay and interview with DPI Chair Deb Willis. In the post the two discuss a wide range of topics from the aforementioned event in Florence to Deb’s influences growing up, bad teachers and the dedication it takes to make it in the art world as a woman of color. Read the whole HuffPo article on Deb Willis here.

Image by Deborah Willis


Tagged , , , |

DPI Professor Wafaa Bilal to Show at the Venice Biennale and More!



DPI is excited to announce that professor Wafaa Bilal will be showing his new work “Canto III” as part of The Armory Show in New York this March and at the Venice Biennale opening in May. “Canto III” takes its name from Lord Byron’s ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ in which the main character travels from Dover to Waterloo considering the formerly war-torn land, its heroes, and his own personal losses. Wafaa’s project is inspired by an unrealized dream of Sadaam Hussein’s Ba’athist cadre to launch into orbit a golden statue of the despot himself. “Canto III” will see veterans of the United States’ most recent war in Iraq paid minimum to wage to assist in the fabrication of the artwork.

“This project is intended as an inquiry into homelands and frontiers, from my homeland of Iraq, to my new home here in the United States, to our peoples’ forays into outer space. Through explorations of subjects such as the treatment of veterans returning home across the globe, the egomania of a dictator, and the mundane brutality of the systems we construct, I hope to shed light on how borders and political exigencies can impact the people that give the most support to their homelands.” (Wafaa via Lawrie Shabibi)

Additionally, opening February 26th at Driscoll Babcock in New York is Wafaa’s “Lovely Pink.” “Lovely Pink” features “miniature reproductions of ancient Western iconography in cold cast resin and bonded marble are destabilized by veils of heavy black enamel and the trappings of industrial heated shrink-wrap” (via Driscoll Babcock)

Bilal_LOVELY_PINK_ARES_GOD_OF_WAR3Images: top via Lawrie Shabibi, bottom via Driscoll Babcock

Tagged , , , , |

Chair Deborah Willis interviewed on NPR

Broadcast today on NPR’s Morning Edition, an interview with Deborah Willis and Director Thomas Allen Harris: Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photography Fades Up To Joy.  They speak about their work and the film.

Inspired by the book Reflections in Black by Deborah Willis, the film features the works of photographic artists Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Clarissa Sligh, James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, and many others..

Through A Lens Darkly,  will broadcast Monday, Feb. 16, on the PBS program Independent Lens.

Also posted in Department News Tagged , , , |

Watch DPI Faculty Member Terry Boddie Speak About His Work


In October DPI professor Terry Boddie (DPI ’89) spoke about his work as part of SVA’s i3 lecture series. Watch Terry speak along with slides of his work below:

Tagged , , |

Photo Gallery: Celebrating Fred Ritchin’s Retirement from NYU


Saturday night on the 8th floor of Tisch saw a wonderful celebration of the 23 years and countless inspiring ideas that DPI professor and associate chair (now adjunct professor) Fred Ritchin gave to NYU and DPI. We’re excited for Fred and his new position as Dean of the School at ICP. Click through to enjoy photos from the party and don’t miss the slideshow of images capturing Fred’s 23 years at DPI.






Also posted in Department Events Tagged , , |

DPI Professor Terry Boddie on African American and Caribbean Photography


On Tuesday October 21st at 7pm, SVA presents a lecture by DPI professor Terry Boddie. From SVA:

Terry Boddie’s work as a photographer and artist explores the historical and contemporary aspects of memory, migration and globalization. Boddie talks about his recent projects and how they intersect with the history of African American and Caribbean photography. His talk is part if the i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration lecture series, which features presentations by digital photographers, hardware and software developers and industry experts. Presented by MPS Digital Photography.

The event is free and open to the public. For details click here.

Tagged , , , |

DPI Professor Shelley Rice in Conversation at the Rubin Museum


Tonight, October 15th at 7pm, at The Rubin Museum presents a conversation between photographer Mary Ellen Mark and DPI professor Shelley Rice on “the legacy of pioneering photographer Marc Riboud.” The event is presented in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition ‘Witness at a Crossroads Photographer Marc Riboud in Asia.’ From the Rubin:

Witness at a Crossroads chronicles French photographer Marc Riboud’s journeys across Asia during the mid-1950s and 60s, a period of great cultural and political transition in the region. More than one hundred arresting black-and-white photographs offer glimpses into everyday life in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, and Japan, illuminating tensions between tradition and post-war modernity.

Presented in association with the Howard Greenberg Gallery

Buy tickets and see more details here. Student standby tickets are available for $10.


Tagged , , , |

DPI Faculty Update

Lots of great stuff being produced inside and outside of Tisch by the DPI faculty. Here’s a bit of what’s been happening lately:

Mark Bussell has a piece on Mashable about portraits of Andy Warhol shot by Ken Heyman now on view in Berlin. Read it here. Mark is also featured at the Lens Blog along with DPI alum Alex Arbuckle, with an ongoing project covering the history of NYC’s Little Italy through photos then and now. Details once and twice.

Kalia Brooks has been published as part of BOMB’s Oral History Project, with a piece about trailblazing photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. Read it here.

Matthew Baum’s piece “Center of the Confederate Line” is included in a group show at the North Carolina Museum of Art as part of the “Private Eye” exhibition. Details

Deborah Willis has written a piece featured at Time LightBox titled ‘How the Past Shapes Modern Photography’ as part of Lightbox’s curators series in which she highlights the performative aspects of new contemporary photographers with an eye towards portraiture. Read it here.

Lorie Novak’s ‘Random Interference project is in an exhibition,“Mobilizing Memory: Women Witnessing”  at DEPO in Istanbul, Turkey. Details here and download the catalog here.

Joseph Rodriguez was a part of a group exhibition “A Story To Tell” in Berlin with his gallery HARDHITTA GALLERY. Details


Tagged , , , |

‘Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration’ A Panel Discussion


“Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration”, an exhibition project, is an innovative approach to the act of collaboration and community participation with the making of art, curated by Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas. 

Panel artists include Sonia Louise Davis, Lonnie Graham, Richard Renaldi, Lorie Novak, Kemi Ilesanmi and The Laundromat Project, Bayeté Ross Smith andQuestion Bridge Interactive, Zun Lee, and Shane Aslan Selzer.

The panel discussion will take place:
Monday, September 29th, 6:30pm
at The Nathan Cummings Foundation

475 Tenth Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10018


Space is limited. To reserve, please email

Also posted in Alumni Work, Department Events Tagged , , , , |