Published by Radius Books/Yossi Milo. Interview with Andy Campbell.
Swazi craft meets digital photography in Kyle Meyer’s astounding woven photos of a silenced LGBTQ community
Kyle Meyer (born 1985) has worked between eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) and New York City since 2009, creating richly tactile artworks as conceptually complex as they are visually lush. In this debut monograph, Meyer's portraits from his Interwoven series fuse digital photography with traditional Swazi crafts, giving voice to silenced members of the LGBTQ community. Tension between the necessity of the individuals to hide their queerness for basic survival and their desire to express themselves openly inform both the subject and the means of fabricating Meyer’s unique works.
Each piece from the Interwoven series is labor-intensive, taking days or sometimes weeks to complete. Meyer often photographs his subjects wearing a traditional headwrap made from a vibrantly colored textile. He then produces a print of the portrait and shreds it, together with the fabric from the headwrap, weaving the strips into patterned three-dimensional works. The final portrait presents each person’s individuality while using the fabric as a screen to protect their identity.