Roy DeCarava/ Black, White, Grey.

image by
Roy DeCarava,
Ex-fighter, New York, 1961

Long years ago, there was no internet yet, I was on my regular quest for photographers and their works still unknown to me, when I found an obviously forgotten book by Roy DeCarava on the shelves of a Munich bookstore specialized in art books. I was not that much interested in what Roy De Carava has photographed, but I was immediately fascinated by the shifted tonality of his images. These endless grays. The darkness of his images.
I had the feeling that Roy DeCarava had made the blackness of his skin to the source of the tonality of his images.

Only in a few of his photographs Roy DeCarava is loosing himself in pure formalism. Here his photographs seem outdated.

Roy DeCaravas images, though from a time long gone by now, are still contemporary. For his very personal, strong style never was dominated by fashions and trends in art or photography.

He did what he wanted to do, expressed what he wanted to express, following his personal rules and his individual aesthetic preferences. He kept to himself, at least in his artwork.

Roy DeCarava doesn´t describe his protagonist as victims of society, of social injustice or as victims of racism. He describes them as humans who deserve respect and attention, as we all do.