In Partnership with Piano Craft Gallery, 2023
Banner Art detail: Duquann Sweeney, "Summertime Joy"
My photographs are the reflections of my community, they are the beautiful people I see when I walk the streets. Also, they are a part of me, like a past memory that brings joy. Whenever I see young boys play, it reminds me of my childhood. The days when my friends and I would ride our bikes, race each other, and play football all day.
I once was asked "Why are you taking pictures? there's nothing good here", the question baffled me for a second. My response was "You are good and so many others". But the question stuck with me, Why did he feel like there wasn't anything good here? Has he been hampered by the negative views of the community? I'm not sure but I will make it my mission to show through my photography that people in my community are good, despite the challenging conditions.
My artwork is all the things that make everyday living beautiful. My photographs are lovers in a park, a woman seated on a corner, girls playing in a fire hydrant to beat the summer heat. The beauty of life.
Duquann Sweeney is a self-taught photographer born and raised in Jersey City, NJ. Sweeney is also the founder of The Royal Men Foundation, a non-profit organization that was founded in 2012.
As a photographer, Duquann is a part of a long list of Black photographers that carry a tradition of photographing Black communities showing the dignity and beauty within them. In 2021, Duquann had his first solo exhibition at Hoboken Historical Museum/Upper Gallery.