Artist Interview: Clifford Prince King

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An interview with photographer Clifford Prince King. Following the opening of his solo show, Colors So True, at Melanie Flood Projects.

 

Learn more about King's background in art, what influences his practice and where he finds inspiration, as well as what he has coming up.

Please tell us a little about yourself...

I’m from the desert, Tucson specifically. My work is a reflection on my life and I’m fueled by imagery that connects with me in any way. Also, I’m a Libra.

What's your background in art? 

I studied filmmaking in high school, which lead to my interest in cinematography and photography. I’ve been behind a camera since age 10 or so. I’ve relied on my own research and friend’s suggestions for content that has inspired me. 

Market Boyz, 2016 Digital C Print. (18x26”)

How did art making first find its way into your life?

At a young age, I was really into organizing and archiving family photos. I was a movie fanatic and always wanted to make my own; I loved using my dad’s VHS camcorder.

What keeps you motivated and engaged in your creative practice and how do you maintain it? 

Making work really helps my mental well being. If I’m not creating images I feel very off and almost empty. Moving to LA has been motivating a lot because everyone is actively creating and trying to make the most of their time. Surrounding myself with other artists I admire really pushes me to do my best.

Could you discuss your creative process?

Looking at old family photos gives me a lot of inspiration. I want to capture truth and understanding from shared experiences amongst people like myself. I want to recreate images of gay black men in a timeless matter, with modern aesthetics with touches of the past.

Could you describe a moment, experience or situation that profoundly changed or influenced your work? 

I was walking down Killingsworth Street in Portland and saw a group of boys drive up to a convenience store. They climbed on their car and started dancing to a song I’ve never heard. I showed them my camera and they gave me a thumbs up so I started taking photos. This was probably one of the most heartwarming and genuine experiences I’ve had.

What advice would you offer to people interested in pursuing a career in the arts?

Stop comparing yourself to people you follow on Instagram.


Do you have a favorite artist(s), in general, and/or right now?

I had a studio visit with Paul Magi Sepuya recently and his work is amazing. Kerry James Marshall, Vivian Maier and Essex Hemphill of course. I’m overall into artists doing what I’m attempting to do past or present. I don’t do as much research as I probably should; I kind of let artists come into my life without looking.

Are you currently working on any projects you can share with us?

I’m always photographing people and stills. As of now I’m working on a zine that should be done by the fall. Also gathering images to makes Xerox collage prints.  


"Colors So True" is on view at Melanie Flood Projects from June 22 through July 21, 2018, open friday & saturday from 12-5 PM.



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Special thanks to Melanie Flood with her assistance with this interview.