About the Photographer
American, b. 1970
Chicago-based artist and poet Krista Franklin mixes historical and contemporary imagery through the process of collage to comment upon issues of race, gender, and class. Franklin affixes appropriated photographs onto spreads from Ebony magazines and swatches of sewing pattern paper. Her practice is heavily influenced by music. This diptych illustrates the lyrics of singer Jamila Woods’s “Blk Girl Soldier,” and appears in the background of the song’s video. In the lyrics, Woods sings about six female “freedom fighters” who appear in Franklin’s panels. The women include civil rights activists Rosa Parks, Ella Baker, Audre Lorde, and Angela Davis; abolitionist Sojourner Truth; and Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur. Arnold featured female singers in his work and, like the Black Arts Movement, celebrated black artists in conjunction with black activists. This restorative process of foregrounding black women in culture and history is mirrored in Franklin’s work.
Franklin completed her BA from Kent State University, Ohio, and her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Columbia College Chicago (2013). She has participated in artist residencies at A Studio in the Woods, New Orleans; Cave Canem Foundation, Brooklyn; and the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life Initiative. Her book Under the Knife was published by Candor Arts in 2018 and Study of Love & Black Body was published by Willow Books in 2012. Her work has been featured in Poetry and BOMB magazines, as well as in the anthologies The End of Chiraq: A Literary Mixtape (2018) and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015), among others. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Rootwork Gallery, Chicago; the Studio Museum, New York; the Chicago Cultural Center; the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Orlando, Florida; the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina; and the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago; among others. Her work was featured in the 2018 MoCP exhibition Echoes: Reframing Collage and appears in two seasons of 20th Century Fox’s television show Empire.