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Muscle Boy, Harlem, Black and White Photography of African American Children 1960s by Leonard Freed

Muscle Boy, Harlem, Black and White Photography of African American Children 1960s by Leonard Freed

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Muscle Boy, Harlem, 1963 by Leonard Freed is a signed and numbered archival Iris print. This edition 25/100 in a planned edition of 100 was halted at 25 prints (as annotated on verso and signed by Freed's widow, Brigitte Freed). In short Muscle Boy is the last print in a final edition of 25. Muscle Boy is an iconic image by Leonard Freed who was a pioneer in socially conscious photojournalism. The image appears on the cover of his book 'Black in White America'.

In the photo a boy flexes his muscles for the camera making a statement perhaps about the strength a boy wishes to possess, especially a boy of color. The child is shirtless, beads of sweat collect on his face like a professional boxer who is in the ring to achieve victory. He is a role model for younger children as well as adults, sending the message about just how brave one boy remains in the face of social inequality. Freed's photographic career often led him to tackle weighty social documentary subjects from the period, 1960s, for which Muscle Boy was among the most iconic in the collection, and is on the book cover of Freed's monograph Black in White America (Getty).

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Artist’s Bio:

Leonard Freed (1929-2006) was an American photographer from Brooklyn, New York. His "Black in White America" series made him known as a documentarian, a social documentary photographer. Freed worked as a freelance photographer from 1961 onwards and as a Magnum photographer Freed traveled widely abroad and, in the US, photographing African Americans (1964-65), events in Israel (1967-68, 1973), and the New York City police department (1972-79). Freed's coverage of the American civil rights movement is well-known as are his photo essays on New York, Italy, Germany, The Kate Series, among others.

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