Devin Allen - GPF / Steidl Book Prize - The Gordon Parks Foundation

Devin Allen first rose to fame in 2015, when his photograph of the Baltimore uprising that followed the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police was published on the cover of Time magazine. Since then Allen has continued to photograph the fight for social justice in his hometown of Baltimore, creating work that is not only a tribute to Black resistance but also a celebration of his community. Demonstrating his deep commitment and unwavering pride, his decade-long body of work serves as more than documentation—it confronts myths and brings into view what has been made invisible. Central to much of Allen’s work is a reconsideration of Black representation. His photographs, many of them created collaboratively with his subjects, serve as a call for self-realization that allows for complexity, tension, and contradiction.

This book, awarded the 2023 Gordon Parks Foundation / Steidl Book Prize, includes more than 100 of Allen’s photographs, spanning 2015–2023, many of them never published before. Conceived as a personal narrative about what Allen has called “the texture of us,” the book encompasses formal portraits, images of protests and street scenes. These images are presented alongside texts by Darnell L. Moore, Salamishah Tillet, and D. Watkins.

Devin Allen was born and raised in West Baltimore. A self-taught artist, he gained national attention when his photograph of the 2015 Baltimore uprising after the death of Freddie Gray was published on the May cover of Time that year—only the third time the magazine had featured the work of an amateur photographer on its cover. Five years later, after the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor, Time used another of Allen’s photographs on its cover, this one of a Black Trans Lives Matter protest. Allen was awarded the first Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship in Art in 2017. That same year, he was nominated for an NAACP Image Award as a debut author for his book A Beautiful Ghetto. His second book, No Justice, No Peace: From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter, was released in 2022 and won Nautilus Book Awards in three categories. His photographs have been published in New York magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, i-D magazine, and Aperture, and are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Founder of Through Their Eyes, a youth photography educational program, he is the recipient of an award for dynamic leadership in the arts and activism from the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. Allen lives and works in Baltimore.

Available from Steidl