Arielle Bobb-Willis

Arielle Bobb-Willis

Born and raised in New York City, with pit stops in South Carolina and New Orleans, photographer Arielle Bobb-Willis has been using the camera for nearly a decade as a tool of empowerment. Battling with depression from an early age, Bobb-Willis found solace behind the lens and has developed a visual language that speaks to the complexities of life: the beautiful, the strange, belonging, isolation, and connection. Inspired by masters like Jacob Lawrence and Benny Andrews, Bobb-Willis applies a ‘painterly’ touch to her photography by documenting people in compromising and disjointed positions as way to highlight these complexities. Toting the line between fashion and contemporary art, her use of bright vivid colors is therapeutic and speaks to a desire to claim power and joy in moments of sadness, confusion or confinement. Her photographs are all captured in urban and rural cities, from the South to North, East to West. Bobb-Willis travels throughout the US as a way of finding ‘home’ in any grassy knoll, or city sidewalk, reminding us to stay connected and grounded during life’s transitional moments.

Arielle is currently based in New York City.

 

Contemporary Photography Exhibition VIII

April 11 – May 18, 2019

This year, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s eighth annual Contemporary Photography Competition and Exhibition garnered 577 submissions from across the globe. The winning artists, chosen to showcase photographic narratives through concurrent solo exhibitions, are Arielle Bobb-Willis, presenting At Zephyr, and Claire A. Warden, presenting Mimesis.

Born and raised in New York City, with pit stops in South Carolina and New Orleans, photographer Arielle Bobb-Willis has been using the camera for nearly a decade as a tool of empowerment. Battling with depression from an early age, Bobb-Willis found solace behind the lens and has developed a visual language that speaks to the complexities of life: the beautiful, the strange, belonging, isolation, and connection. Inspired by masters like Jacob Lawrence and Benny Andrews, Bobb-Willis applies a ‘painterly’ touch to her photography by documenting people in compromising and disjointed positions as a way to highlight these complexities.

Anti-Selfie and Self-Aware: Visionary Arielle Bobb-Willis Explains How Photography Saved Her Life

Much has (deservedly) been made of Tyler Mitchell, the 23-year-old photographer seemingly whisked from obscurity after he was tapped to shoot Beyoncé’s 2018 September cover story for American Vogue. But while Mitchell is indeed a talent, he is far from the only young black photographic phenom on the rise today.

There are scores of talented shooters, including Arielle Bobb-Willis, a sharp up-and-comer who in the last year was named by W as one of “The 10 Young Photographers to Follow in 2018,” was featured in the New Yorker and who shot the cover of the relaunched L’Uomo Vogue.

 

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