Maryam Ojikutu is a fine artist from and in London. Their practice entails exploring themes of gender, race and identity through the mediums of photo, video, writing, drawing and conversation from a conceptual lens. Maryam often states: “My work is a means of self-exploration, it is how I learn about the parts of me I don’t understand and in turn make sense of the world we exist in and where I fit in within it (if at all).” As well as this, they are passionate about facilitating a dialogue surrounding the importance of art education for black, working-class people.
“boy” is born out of conversations with both cis-hetero black men and queer masculine people in my life. Despite these groups of people never interacting socially – thoughts, and experiences are shared between the two despite either side’s evasions for each other and likely without the other’s knowledge. This work represents this silent dialogue and tussle for power between subjects. The subjects in this photo appear to be at odds, but are still united by their experience of masculinity and blackness – my aim was to facilitate a meeting space for these groups of people independent of the power structures at large.