Artist Jaimie Milner spent six years working to show different sides of black men — their beauty, vulnerability and brilliance. The product of that endeavor, “Gifted,” is a photography and interview series on display at Residency art gallery, created to promote black and Latino art in Inglewood.
“I didn’t see people like my father and friends reflected anywhere in the media,” Milner said. “I wanted to show that these men exist — men that cared, that were smart and applied their gifts and had a blatant purpose and wanted things.”
Phil Upchurch, a jazz guitarist who worked with Michael Jackson, Chaka Khanand Herbie Hancock, was Milner’s first subject. Still a USC student at the time, Milner met with Upchurch at his home for the shoot, developing an intimate look that she carried forward in future shoots. Some subjects look directly into the camera’s lens, daring the viewer to look away; others gaze in another direction, perhaps toward meaningful people or objects nearby.
Milner’s subjects include men in the arts, business and politics, including Charles Dickson, an L.A.-based sculptor; businessman David Sutphen; and Robert Watt, hired by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the first black French horn player in a major U.S. symphony.