Colman Domingo & Inspiration

Jenna Jones and I see each other. Artists that find inspiration around every corner. We talk about architecture, photography, a network of friends, film, television and music. We get excited by a wall of empty boxes, a door frame in an empty warehouse, a walk in arts district, an empty haunting parking lot in the the middle of a pandemic, a staircase in a movie theater. In my daily practice of seeking out imagery to inspire, I stumbled on Sanle Sory and James Barnor’s photography one morning. I wanted to live in those images of blackness of Upper Volta (Mali) and all that black expression in their work particularly in the early 1970’s. African prints with European cuts of fabric and draping. Motorcycles, swagger, glamour, boxing, dance and music. Dark skin glowing.  This was also a source of inspiration for my friend and comrade Jenna. We decided to meet one morning in November, just she and I, at an old 1930’s Masonic Lodge in South Central Los Angeles for a socially distanced shoot to give honor to these photographers that we admire. She brought along some vintage cameras and a trusty Super 8. I curated the clothing from my own closet, brought along some Fela Kuti and we let the inspiration take over. Even in a pandemic, you can create and hopefully be a source of inspiration for one another. 

-Colman Domingo

To say that I admire Colman Domingo, is a huge understatement. I met him at a press event that I was photographing for If Beale Street Could Talk and I was so compelled by him, I had to walk straight up to him as a total stranger and say "I'm sorry to bother you but I wanted to tell you I think you're amazing and I could sit and listen to you talk for hours" From that moment on, we found ways to stay connected and he has been a muse for me ever since. This shoot was so exciting, and working with Colman is like working with pure energy and MAGIC. I love these photos, and I love this day. It also doesn't hurt that he has the best style in town and knows how to embody any time period or character you bring to him. I can't wait to see what we do next. 

-Jenna Jones 

Masonic Lodge in South Central Los Angeles


Water No Get Enemy by Fela 

KutiBonfo by Fela Kuti

Zamba Ben by Marku Ribbas

Already by Beyonce

Chega Mais by Banda Black Rio

Ja Funmi by King Sunny Ade


Sory Sané Volta Photo 1965-1985

James Barnor Ever Young



This project would born out of inspiration and love. Thank you Colman, for being an active participant to whatever the hell goes on in my head. Here's to many more. 

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