Responding to pervasive media images of violence against Black people, Mikael Owunna BME ’12 sought to recast the Black body as eternal in his photo series “Infinite Essence.” Each of the titles in the series is grounded in a specific African myth.
To achieve the singular radiance that characterizes the series, Owunna hand-painted each of his models with fluorescent paint and photographed them using an ultraviolet flash of his own design.
“Using this method, in total darkness, I click down on the shutter—‘snap’—and for a fraction of a second, their bodies illuminate as the universe.”
- “Mikael Owunna’s Photographs Show the Essence of Black Healing” (Aperture, 2020)
- “‘Every Black Person Deserves To See Themselves This Way’” (NPR Picture Show, 2019)