"Manifest" from Before I Died I Was Invisible by Kevin Claiborne

Student Kevin Claiborne in Solo Exhibition ‘Before I Died I Was Invisible’

BY Brittany Nguyen, February 26, 2021

The Print Center presents a solo exhibition Before I Died I Was Invisible by Student Kevin Claiborne in Philadelphia, PA. 


The exhibition is a reward granted to Claiborne as a result of being one of the three finalists of The Print Center’s 95th Annual International Competition. The ANNUAL is one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the United States. The Print Center is particularly interested in highlighting local, national and international artists who utilize photography and printmaking in new and intriguing ways, both in content and process. 


The exhibition is presented virtually and each artist will be commissioned to make a site-specific installation for our ground-floor window as part of the ongoing Windows on Latimer series. The exhibition is open from February 1 through April 30, 2021. 


Before I Died I Was Invisible includes Claiborne’s photography and print-making works that “address the Black experience in America today. It takes its title from a poem written by the artist. His keen interests in poetry and the hidden as well as multiple meanings in language permeate his work. Claiborne’s exhibition comprises two ongoing series: “BLACKNESS IS,” 2019, landscape photographs layered with screen printed text, and “Great Unconformity,” 2020, a further exploration of word and photographic imagery through digital collage,” as stated on the The Print Center website.


Claiborne (he/him, b. 1989) is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist whose work examines intersections of identity, social environment, & mental health within the Black American experience. Using photography as a foundation and language as material, Kevin uses his art as weapon and armor in the fight for liberation. Claiborne is currently living and working in Harlem, New York City.