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This essay, shaped in the form of a reflection on a personal encounter with the Hugo Boss Prize exhibition Centropy at the Guggenheim Museum in New York by contemporary photographer Deana Lawson, examines issues of race and representation in the contemporary art market. It questions the fad for images that foreground aesthetics associated with the Black underclass made by Black artists; the potential for exploitative representations of models drawn from adjacent class positions and geographically distant locations on the African continent and in the diaspora; and the challenges of generational shift in the art world.

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