Terrance Purdy, Jr., is an artist from Chicago, Illinois. He is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia. He obtained his B.A. In Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in photography, black studies, and art history. He will be moving to New York to get his MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts this year.
Growing up playing basketball and running track, he first picked up a camera in the summer of 2014. His work is about black people, and more specifically; the ways in which black people express identity, and reconstruct the stereotypes and identities placed upon them.
Other than photography, Terrance is also a DJ, an aspiring filmmaker, an avid reader, an awesome pizza maker, and a true manga addict.
Identity is everything. It is liberation. It gives one agency. Black Americans have been in a constant process of forming an identity for the past two centuries because we had our history, traditions, and ways of life stripped from us. This situation is extremely unique as we must battle many misrepresentations to express who we are as individuals. Our black identity as it relates to material culture and fashion. Our black identity as it relates to the bigger African diaspora. Our black identity as it relates to sex. Our black identity as it relates to architecture and places with specific historical context, and so on.
I am interested in the way we take on the identities that are placed on us; and the way we reject and reconstruct these misrepresentations and stereotypes in an act of empowerment.
My goal is not to impose my thoughts as to what is a right way that we as black people should identify ourselves. Ad Lucëm is a project that identifies the ways we do this and make work that expresses the beauty power that this act has for us.
To view more of Terrance Purdy jr.’s work please visit his website.