(Cleveland, 1962 - )
Mahone earned his MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and teaches photography at Cleveland State University and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Mahone describes his haunting self-portraits as an exploration of "blackness as an identity marker" and, in turn, as visions of self-acceptance and love. Inspired by a number of sobering experiences with racism and the writings of bell hooks, a feminist cultural critic, his photographs examine the practice of "masking" in our culture, the way in which we form an identity for the sole purpose of being accepted by others. "So often a black man's skin is considered his clothing in the sense that it is the first thing people notice about him and by which they judge him," notes Mahone. In several of the photographs, the artist's skin is covered with a substance such as sand, or the images are manipulated to look as though the skin is a different color, even peeling away. Mahone works with black and white film exclusively and achieves startling color effects in some prints by hand tinting the photographic negatives before printing from them.
Lives Cincinnati, OhioView objects by this artist.