Carrie Mae Weems (b. 1953) has spent the past thirty years working toward developing a complex body of art that has employed photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. Her work has led her to investigate family relationships, gender roles, the histories of racism, sexism, class, and various political systems. In a review of her retrospective in The New York Times, Holland Cotter wrote, “Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible.” In 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recently, she is a recipient of the ICP Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography and the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard University. Weems is represented in public and private collections around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum.
For the Messages for the City campaign, Weems contributed works from her ongoing project Resist COVID Take 6, in which she works with and within Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to spread awareness about COVID-19. Acknowledging that “COVID-19 is not an equal opportunity virus, it’s a double tragedy for people of color communities,” Resist COVID Take 6 acknowledges the labor of Black and Brown essential workers, and encourages simple, actionable steps— stay home, mask up, back up, and wash your hands! To learn more about Weems’ multi-sited public project, go to http://socialstudiesproject.org/.