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An Examination of the Color Black in Gorgeous Portraits by Yannis Davy Guibinga

Images from the series "The Darkest Colour," photographed by Yannis Davy Guibinga, featuring Tania Fines and Madjou Diallo, and with bodypainting by Jean Guy Leclerc. All images via Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Images from the series “The Darkest Colour,” photographed by Yannis Davy Guibinga, featuring Tania Fines and Madjou Diallo, and with bodypainting by Jean Guy Leclerc. All images via Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Self-taught Gabonese photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga is known for portraits that highlight the diversity of cultures and identities in the African diaspora. His works are often richly hued, with subjects positioned against bright gradient backgrounds or adorned in warm tones.

In his project The Darkest Colour however, Guibinga moves away from his multi-colored photo shoots to focus entirely on the color black and its relationship to darkness, mourning, and death. The series is set in front of a matte black background and features two nude models whose skin has also been painted black. The works seek to unpack the negative aspects of the both the color and its symbolism.

“Black is generally the colour associated with tragedy, death, and mourning, and the act of passing away is considered to be a tragedy in many cultures,” Guibinga tells Colossal. “‘The Darkest Colour’ seeks to redefine association of black and death with tragedy and sadness by representing the act of passing away as more of a relaxing experience.”

The 22-year-old photographer is currently a student in professional photography at Marsan College in Montreal. You can see more of his portraits, like his series 2050 which explores the future of fashion from a black woman’s perspective, on his website and Instagram. (via WideWalls)

Images from the series "The Darkest Colour, "photographed by Yannis Davy Guibinga, featuring Tania Fines and Madjou Diallo, and with bodypainting by Jean Guy Leclerc. All images via Yannis Davy Guibinga.

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