Philadelphia artist Don Camp has been photographing portraits of African American men for almost twenty years. Camp's images typically feature tightly cropped faces that are larger than life. They are often solemn faces that look squarely back at the viewer. They are dignified and sensitive. They are fathers, brothers, sons, artists, musicians, writers, religious leaders, and men who had participated in the Million Man March-all have had some impact on Camp's life.
This on-going series of portraits, named after Robert Hayden's book of poetry, "Heart-Shape in the Dust," (1940), is based on Camp's desire to portray African American males who embody love, respect, and humanity. The portraits are purposefully weathered, almost ancient in appearance, to reveal their struggle and the underlying wisdom and soul of each man. They are specific to each individual yet represent aspects that we are all familiar with both socially and culturally.