Lyon Mississippi Art
Lyon's picture shows fifteen young black women in a Georgian suburb, and the mob turns on the protesters. Some of the paintings are already known, but Lyon's paintings are the most famous of his works in the history of black art in America.
The image of Brown being carried away by two police officers speaks for the Coordinating Committee for Nonviolent Students, for which Lyon took the picture. While Lyon was painting the mural, students at Fort Lupton High School were researching and contributing to the costs, which made it easier to create a mural in the school auditorium and paint the building itself. Pictures produced over the summer include one by Matt Herron documenting the 1940s schools that opened in Mississippi this summer and were attended by more than 2,000 students.
By including text, Lyon allows for a more nuanced collective portrait and captures how these different groups interact with the geography of the Southwest. Lyon has been involved in photography since he joined the Chicago outlaw motorcycle gang in the late 1970s and recorded his demise. More recently, he has traveled to South Africa, where he photographed people living in coal-producing areas, such as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also photographed cultures in South America, Africa and Asia, as well as in Europe.
While some of Lyon's earliest photographs depict the civil rights movement, later works make a binding connection between the civil rights movement and his work in prison photography. He was given unprecedented freedom and access to six prisons and was given the opportunity to move freely around and leave the prison, taking intense photographs of various prison units over a period of 14 months. Over the course of 18 months, Lyon took thousands of photographs, recorded hours of testimony and choreographed the fields where the convicts toiled.
The film is a testament to how often Lyon chose to show people posing in these snaps. These family snaps include family members, friends, relatives and even prison guards and guards themselves.
In Clarksdale, Mississippi, for example, he captured a group of menacing white men standing around a Buick in the shade of a tree. A photo of young Stokely Carmichael, taken in Cambridge, Maryland, shows him staring down a National Guard officer with a fixed bayonet. Chirico scribbled a small watercolor on a piece of paper that Lyon signed: "Lyon's army paid little for it. This photo, taken in the flash and taken while he was arrested by the National Guard near Cambridge, Maryland, in 1964, shows a young "Stokely" Carmichael looking up at a National Guard officer with fixed bayonets.
It is obvious that Lyon shared his first film camera with Robert Frank, and it shows that he recreated the symbolism that was once in the picture.
Summing up his five-decade career, Lyon said his work was an existential struggle for freedom. This untiring faith inspired the very American films, photographs, and writings that Lyon owned, and elevated social documentary film to an art form.
The exhibition begins with a collection of photographs taken in 1962, when Lyon set out to the South to participate and document the civil rights movement in the summer of 1962, documenting the actions of the National Committee for Civil Rights of the South (SNCC), the first national youth organization for African American rights. During his journey with SNCCC through the South, Lyon created a series of negatives that he documented and often quickly developed in a makeshift darkroom. It is followed by eight more, including photographs from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, as well as photos from his time in South Carolina and Georgia.
As the photographer spread across Mississippi and the Southeast, he built a darkroom at the University of Mississippi College of Art and Design in Hattiesburg.
In the summer of 1964, more photographers joined the SNCC, and Lyon enjoyed being in the places they sent him. When I met Lyon at his gallery opening, I learned that he was not a man who had idiots, he had never stopped moving and was still under fire. He told me: "Where I live, it's militarized, but I'm not afraid of it.
This shows the courage and integrity that characterized Lyon's early work as he immersed himself in the civil rights movement, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War. He allied himself with the sites prepared for extermination, some of which he had visited himself, but for him they were the last witnesses of a vanished place.
In 1962, Lyon was arrested in Cleveland, Mississippi, for taking photos of Amzie Moore's house across the street. Lyon and his wife drove to the house where he took a picture of an overjoyed stranger, which he then posted on Instagram.
I just thought it was incredible and scary, but I didn't know I was in his picture until much later. Lyon used the image to publish it in Life and exhibit it in a museum, as well as post it on his Facebook page.