Avenue 50's Annex Gallery Presents:

Willie Middlebrook, 2009 COLA recipient and 2012 Durfee Awardee

Middlebrook — I OWN NIGGER!

Opening April 14, 2012 from 7-10 pm

We are saddened by the passing of Mr. Middlebrook during his very last exhibition.

  Please visit:,0,7856090.story

Art is about communication. I am obsessed with the need to communicate. I need to tell, to show, what I see, what I feel. I am intrigued & motivated by the life experience; the human condition. Photography is the tool I use to communicate my feelings. It (photography), helps me to hold, to seize for permanent record, every facet of life that comes before my eyes; from the beginning minutes, to those last fleeting seconds.

My work is based on a collaboration between the subjects I select to photograph and myself. My subjects; family and friends & I have an understanding of each other, an understanding, focused towards a single goal; to speak to and about our people, our communities.

My drive, my direction, my strong social and aesthetic convictions, from which everything that I do comes; stems from my parents endowing strong feelings about the ideals and the integrity of being Black. From the first time I picked up a camera I felt and still feel the need to reflect their world and my own; our sensibility. Thus the majority of what I do has and will always center around my people.

After spending almost all of my pre-adult and the majority of my adult life seeing negative, non-quality or no images at all, of my people, I decided that there was a need to direct my focus exclusively to producing great images of my people; not necessarily in a positive light, but always in a true light.
My focus is never limited, I seek to communicate to all, to all willing to listen.

Thank you for listening.     

 --Willie Middlebrook


April 14 through May 5, 2012

Avenue 50 Studio, Inc.
a 501(c)(3) non-profit art gallery
131 North Avenue 50
Highland Park, CA  90042

Avenue 50 Studio is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors  through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the California Community  Foundation; the California Council for the Humanities; the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; and The James Irvine  Foundation