A visceral and haunting exploration of Black male vulnerability, joy, and spirituality, Shikeith’s vision follows the lyric artistic expressions of other contemporary portrait photographers like Deana Lawson, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Mickalene Thomas.
Notes towards Becoming a Spill brings together a series of striking studio portraits of Black male subjects as they inhabit various states of meditation, prayer, and ecstasy. Shikeith describes the work as “leaning into the uncanny,” visualizing ritual and the process of excavating Black men’s erotic potential, the better to exorcise the “intangible presences that haunt their bodies and psyches.” The men’s faces and bodies glisten with sweat (and tears) - the manifestation and evidence of desire. This ecstasy is what critic Antwaun Sargent proclaims “an ideal, a warm depiction that insists on concrete possibility for another world.”
Trim Size: 8.12 x 12.75 x 0.63 in.
Number of Pages: 112
Creative Director: Lesley A. Martin
Book Designer: Rush Jackson
Picture Editor: Lesley A. Martin
Production Director: Minjee Cho
Production Coordinator: Thomas Bollier
Other Credits: Shikeith: Notes towards Becoming a Spill was made possible, in part, by leadership support from Arts, Equity, & Education Fund (aeefund.org) and the 7|G Foundation (7gfoundation.com), and by the generosity of Michael Hoeh.
Shikeith: Notes Towards Becoming a Spill
Book and Cover
Winner - AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2022
Book Title: Shikeith: Notes Towards Becoming a Spill
Design Firm/Agency: Rush Jackson
Author/Editor: Author: Shikeith / Editor: Lesley A. Martin
“The exaggerated vertical trim highlights the human body as the subject matter. There’s an intentionality to material choice and movement of typography throughout the publication.”
- 50 Books Winner