REVIEW – Photographs by Jerriod Avant

by Patrick James Errington

Featured Photographer: Jerriod Avant

Photo courtesy of Jerriod Avant

Photo courtesy of Jerriod Avant

When it comes to judging photography, I often find myself considering it similarly to the way in which I consider short poetry. It’s as much about suggesting as it is about showing. All fine art, I suppose, can be seen this way. Each painting, photograph, sculpture, poem, is a sort of connect-the-dots exercise in narrative and meaning-making.

It is obvious from his photographs that Jerriod Avant is a poet (he is a current MFA student in poetry at NYU). He sees the world as many suggested narratives and each image he captures is an essential moment of that narrative. I suppose that’s what separates good photography from great photography: choosing a moment that is not merely indicative of a narrative, but that is in some way crucial to it.

Photo courtesy of Jerriod Avant

Photo courtesy of Jerriod Avant

Avant captures moments of change: the crystalline moment just after rain, the minute of calm after a long busy day. Unlike other fine arts which build moments from hours of work, photography requires waiting, the patience to wander or await that instant that represents so much more.

Photo courtesy of Jerriod Avant

Photo courtesy of Jerriod Avant

Of course, it takes more than just finding that moment. And herein lies the craft of photography. Avant composes his shots with the care of a jeweller, arranging the facets to capture the perfect light, color, and tone. The weight in the images is perfectly, delicately, balanced, suggesting movement yet with all the care of still-life (sometimes you almost wonder if his subjects were posed deliberately).

Avant : Photo 4

Photo courtesy of Jerriod Avant

There is, in these images, a beauty that borders nostalgia. These pictures take on the qualities of memory: pristine, yet somehow malleable to the imagination. I just wish my memories were half as stunning as these.

Avant : Photo 5

Photo courtesy of Jerriod Avant

A. H. Jerriod Avant is a native of Longtown, Mississippi. A graduate of Jackson State University, he was selected to participate in Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop in 2012 and 2013 at Brown University in Providence RI. A 2013 Pushcart nominee, his poems have appeared in The Louisville Review, PLUCK!, A Narrow Fellow, The Rumpus, Callaloo, Pinwheel, H_NGM_N and are forthcoming from Lumberyard and Madcap Review. Jerriod is currently an M.F.A. candidate and Writer in the Public Schools Fellow at New York University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Patrick James Errington is a Canadian-born writer, editor, and translator. He holds a degree in literature and writing at the University of Alberta, where he studied with Nobel laureate Derek Walcott. He worked as an editor and translator for two years in both Paris and Edinburgh before moving to New York for Columbia University’s MFA in creative writing and translation. Patrick is the 2014-2015 editor of Catch & Release.

4 thoughts on “REVIEW – Photographs by Jerriod Avant”

  1. Vernice Avant says:

    Great pictures, they are all so life like, feels like you can just reach out and touch the subjects or place yourself in the situation. The best is a Always captured in your shots.

  2. Tashanta Mcglothian says:

    Jerriod, you are nothing short of amazing! We are so proud of the great man that you’ve become. Please continue to grace us with your photography and poetry. Much love always.

    Corey and Tashanta

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