Arthur Jafa

Artist Bio

Arthur Jafa

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Arthur Jafa (b. 1960, Tupelo, MS) is an artist, filmmaker and cinematographer. Across three decades, Jafa has developed a dynamic practice comprising films, artifacts, and happenings that reference and question the universal and specific articulations of Black being. Underscoring the many facets of Jafa’s practice is a recurring question: how can visual media, such as objects, static and moving images, transmit the equivalent power, beauty and alienation embedded within forms of Black music in U.S. culture?

Growing up between Tupelo and the Mississippi Delta, Jafa describes being “very much shaped by bouncing back and forth between those communities,” where desegregation and continued segregation were constantly in tension. He studied architecture and film at Howard University before moving to Los Angeles to focus on filmmaking. Since 2000, his experimental short videos, sculptures, and photo collages have received increasing acclaim in the contemporary art world.

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