(In)Visible Men is a portrait series focused on Black males and the attempt to bring visibility to a social group that has been historically marginalized. Since the birth of this country, Black men have appeared and disappeared from view depending upon the political, economic or entertainment needs of the dominant culture. Ricardo Lewis’s art is about challenging the viewer to internalize the interconnectedness between themselves and Black men. In it, Lewis is asking the viewer to pause while attempting to see Black men without a narrative or with judgment; to quiet inner dialogues arrived from how this group has been defined through social media. The men in Lewis’s art are presented with limited visual cues that people use to make assumptions and stereotypes. Without visual cues and backgrounds, the viewer is left with the encounter they are presented, the proximity they allow between themselves and the subjects, and their personal comfort levels arrived from the engagement.
"I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."
Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man