J. Quazi King is a Brooklyn based fashion and lifestyle photographer focusing on portraiture. An ex-IT professional then fashion stylist, Quazi had a childhood fascination with photography, which he only decided to explore just two years ago.
Originally from Equatorial Guinea, his work has been described as beautifully haunting, being influenced by Africa and all things indigenous.
“There’s a rebellious dimension to what I do, I am not very methodical when it comes to personal projects. I don’t think about what I want the image to look like. I think that’s putting a lot of boundaries to your creativity,” he adds.
The self-taught photographer started by documenting everyday scenes on the streets of New York. “My first year of shooting, it was just crazy that’s all I did,” recalls Quazi. “Everyday I went out to shoot something and New York is so rich when it comes to subjects. I didn’t start shooting in a studio till I think my eighth month of shooting,” he says.
Quazi recently took part in an exhibition of nude photography at New York’s Rush Arts Gallery. Curated by Danny Simmons and titled Neekid Blk Gurls, it featured the works of twenty photographers capturing the beauty of black women as art.
“I believe naked black women are rarely shown or thought of as art rather generally objectified and sexualized specifically in pop culture. I see the art in black women and for this reason, when I photograph them nude, I aim to portray this view in a dignifying manner,” says Quazi.
The above images are part of J. Quazi King’s “Polaris” series of nude women with hidden identities that will form a future coffee table book.
His current project focuses on emerging and talented Africans living outside of Africa. Titled “Golden Africans” it will be part of a future gallery exhibition in New York.
“It’s about Africans of all walks of life, gender, and different professional disciplines, some emerging and others established in their respectable fields of work. What brings these Africans together for this project in my opinion is their belief that Africa is not a charity case and the work they do to alter this outlook of Africa,” says Quazi.
“Africa ‘s changing and its changing really fast” and he intends to document this through its people.
“In the context of the media when you think about Africa you don’t necessarily think about talented, progressive thinking successful [individuals.] But I know a lot of Africans who are that and more.”