Kristina Varaksina

In visual artist Jon Henry’s series Stranger Fruit, sons pose with their mothers as if they are lifeless, re-creating scenes of mourning. The mothers stare through the camera’s lens, as if holding onlookers accountable for threats their sons could one day face. In 2020—after the killing of George Floyd by police­—the series took on new poignancy. In his final moments, Floyd, whose death sparked protests across the U.S., called out for his mother. Henry—who last year won the prestigious Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture­—says he hopes to represent the long-term pain of police violence: “When these tragedies happen over and over again, we see the families, the protesters, all this media coverage, but after all of that is gone the families and the mothers are forgotten.” —Josiah Bates

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