Jordan Blake’s [@jordanblake10] work is a perpetual reminder of the beauty in blackness

Jordan Blake’s [@jordanblake10] work is a perpetual reminder of the beauty in blackness

Jordan Blake has gained a reputation for his ability to centralise and celebrate the black body. With a following of over 130k on TikTok, Blake has managed to steal the attention of many as he focuses on black men and women. 

Blake, a NY photographer and model began gaining traction online as he posted his self-portraits. It was 2020 during the pandemic, and the world was under lockdown. Like many, his self-portraits were a way to continue creating and expressing themselves in an unfamiliar world. Yet his work stands out from the masses.

On his social media, Blake frequently notes the development of his self-portraits. One of his recent photos involves him posing with white roses added to his cornrows. The roses mark a deeper trend in his photography, one of softness. Even before the ‘soft black boy’ was a trend on TikTok, Blake’s work illuminates the softness of black men in a way that the media is yet to catch up with. 

Jordan Blake’s self-portraits via his Instagram

It is in the way that Blake poses his black male models both individually and together. Individually – his models often pose fluidly and delicately in ways reminiscent of ballet. Together – Blake marks the interdependent relationships that exist amongst black men. Softness is not a rarity in his work but rather a standard feature, and Blake captures this in ways that challenge the gender pressures imposed on black men.

One thing about Jordan Blake – colours are his playground. His use of colours is sharply unapologetic. Whether it’s bright oranges, deep reds, or fluorescent blues, Blake works with colour in ways that contrast with and center his dark-skinned models. The contrast seems to go hand in hand with his broader aim of telling the stories of black men and women.

In his Youtube video, ‘What motivates us to create,’ Blake expands on his mission. ‘Domination’ was the word that echoed throughout the video: ‘The goal is to dominate. The goal is to have our stories heard wide and beyond, from millions on Instagram to millions on Tiktok’. 

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