Tender is the first monograph by artist Carla Williams. Made in private between 1984 and 1999 and kept mostly to herself for more than thirty years, the images in Tender comprise a complete, personal self-portrait of a young, queer, Black woman intimately exploring the realm of her own possibility.
When Williams was eighteen and studying photography at Princeton, she began making the black and white and color portraits in Tender to create pictures in her own image. Her mind was filled equally with the canonical images of the medium’s male-driven history and the posing women discovered during her youth in her father’s pornography collection. Using her own body, Williams created the portraits she had never seen before. Made with instant Polaroid 35mm and 4x5 type 55 film formats, Williams profited from the near instant result to continuously play with her own expression and form. An act of tender commune with herself, these are every version of the artist on full display: provocative, playful, sensual, gentle, powerful, mean, glamorous, forlorn, funny.
The photographs in Tender are ignited with the raw energy of a young artist on the cusp of adulthood and her own burgeoning sexual identity. Included in the book are essays by the artist and scholar Mireille Miller-Young.
Printed in a limited edition of 1,500 copies, each book is signed and numbered by the artist and includes a 4 x 6 inch chromogenic print.
- Publisher: TBW (January 25, 2022)
- Language: English
- Softcover w/ Dust jacket: 160 pages, 80 plates
- ISBN-13: 9781942953593
- Item Weight: 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions: 8 x 10 in