In conversation with Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Artists Simone Leigh and Zendaya come together to create a new vision of black womanhood. Photographed by Ryan McGinley and styled by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson and Law Roach.
Garage has paired Leigh with the actress and performer Zendaya to bring her work to life in a different way. Taking inspiration from Brick House, Leigh’s 16-foot-tall sculpture currently on display at New York City’s High Line, as well as her ongoing Cupboard series, Zendaya both wears Leigh’s work and becomes her women.
On activism: “I go back and forth with the word “activist” because sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve the title. Activists are people who do the work every day, and it’s their life. I feel like I am a platform, a help, a tool, or a resource. I really struggle with the term activist because I just don’t feel like I deserve it, to be honest. I come from two parents who are educated, and who are teachers and who have constantly given. My mom, for example, has given in her entire life and career—all she did as a teacher was give and give and give. To me, that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to do right by people. You’re supposed to help people when you can. You’re supposed to uplift people when you can. Through my work, I’m just allowing people’s stories to be told. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to be in a position where I can open doors for people who look like me—and for people who don’t look like me.”
Hair: Martin-Christopher Harper
Makeup: Raisa Flowers
[Photo Credit: Ryan McGinley/Garage Magazine]