AFROS - CELEBRATION OF NATURAL HAIR – MICHAEL JULY
Brooklyn born Michael July has led an unparalleled life. Influenced from a very early age by parents who were deeply into painting, designing and making clothes. Michael first became a painter himself. Next he went on to creative writing and later producing and creating music for himself and other artists throughout his high school years. Michael's passion for Black culture allowed him to amass a large collection of rare books, magazines, videos and movies from the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s. In the Spring of 2004 he bought a basic point and shoot camera. Within a year one of the country's top photographers, Terrence Jennings saw some of his photos and was so impressed with his eye for photography that he encouraged Michael to buy a Canon DSLR camera which he did. Soon he was documenting many of his interests and quickly establishing a large & impressive portfolio of images that was quite commanding. The next year, New Years Eve 2006 to be exact as Michael explains it "I had a epiphany. At an Afro Punk party I noticed the most attractive young couple with large, perfectly rounded Afros. I wanted to shoot them so badly but was a bit hesitant because they were in such a playful zone that I was afraid I would interrupt it. Then out of nowhere they both looked at me and simultaneously asked 'aren't you going to shoot us'? Well that was the beginning of it. I decided then and there that I would do a coffee table book on Afros. I was going to pay respect historically to those who rocked it in places like East Africa and later in America in the 60's and 70's but mainly my purpose would be to capture the 'Afro Renaissance' across the country that was starting to happen". Fast forward to January 2014. Michael July through Natural Light Press has released the coffee table and lifestyle book, "AFROS" - 'A Celebration of Natural Hair'. Michael has exhibited his work at the FWMoA in Indiana, the MoCADA in Brooklyn, Schomburg Center For Social Research in Harlem, Purdue University, Northwest African-American Museum in Seattle and NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL to name just a few. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.