I Have Given The World My Song : Preview

“I Have Given The World My Song” pays direct homage to the work of 20th century African-American artist Elizabeth Catlett.

Her work centers largely on the experience of the African-American woman, and is intensely political and graphically striking. While her work is largely prints, we sought to recreate her pieces in 2019 by actualizing them physically.

It’s been a long time since we, as The Audacity, have built a set from scratch. This shoot may have been our most ambitious undertaking to date—Diana and I spent hours painting backdrops. Musée Beauty painstakingly applied line after line. Everyone on the team scoured thrift stores for weeks trying to find the right colors, patterns, and textures. This shoot was hard work, but turns out our creative hunch was right. It’s cool as fuck.

We are so honored to pay our respects to Catlett. Her pieces are often tongue-in-cheek references to America’s long-standing relationship with racism—titles like “I Have Special Reservations” reference segregated seating in public transportation, while “I Have Given The World My Song” is a mournful depiction of a black woman hunched in song, while the music flows up around her and twists into visions of violence. She has given the world her song, but what has the world done with it?

Buy issue 8 to see the rest of the pieces we recreated: https://www.audacityzine.com/shop/pre-order-issue-8-release-party-pick-up

-Erin

Photographer: Diana Driver

Models: Tosin Anjorin, Kiani Dover, Will Kachi, Brittany Robinson

Makeup by Musée Beauty (Mariam Ali, Tejal Bhikha, Anna Strother)

Recreated pieces: "Male Sharecropper”, “Sharecropper”, “I Have Special Reservations”, “I Have Given The World My Song”, “I Helped Hundreds to Freedom”

The Audacity