Khalik Allah

Press: COLLECTOR DAILY, May  8, 2018 - Loring Knoblauch


May 8, 2018 - Loring Knoblauch

The durable power in Allah’s portraits lies in his unflinching willingness to connect, to take the risk of engaging with someone who may at first be rightfully fearful or defensive.

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Press: PHOTOGRAPH, May  1, 2018 - Drew Thompson


May 1, 2018 - Drew Thompson

The street corner of Lexington and 125th Street in Harlem is worlds away from the skyscrapers of Midtown East and the Gitterman Gallery, where work by the filmmaker and photographer Khalik Allah is on view through May 12.

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10 Galleries to Visit Now on the Upper East Side

The Upper East Side — the area called “above East 50th Street” on gallery apps like See Saw and Artforum — is thriving...

The Art Deco Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street has historically been an art gallery hive. One of its tenants is Gitterman, a gallery devoted to photography and now showing the work of Khalik Allah, a young filmmaker and photographer. (Mr. Allah’s most recent film, “Black Mother,” was shown at this year’s edition of New Directors/New Films.) The photographs here were shot in Harlem, at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, an area that was also the subject of his 2015 film, “Field Niggas.” Together, they are like a sheet of drawings by an old master, a study in facial expressions that suggests a range of experiences, from the ecstatic to the infernal.

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Press: THE FILM STAGE, April  3, 2018


April 3, 2018


New Directors/New Films 2018 review by Jason Ooi

In just two films, he has developed and honed his incomparable style, providing the festival, and the documentary form itself, with one of the most memorable, intense experiences in recent memory.

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Press: THE NEW YORK TIMES, March 28, 2018


March 28, 2018

BLACK MOTHER selected as one of 
11 Movies You Need to Know at New Directors/New Films by A.O. Scott

Gliding from color to black and white, from digital to analog, from grim realism to spiritual ecstasy, the film offers a song of praise to the island of Jamaica and a reckoning with its painful history and hard-pressed present. Mr. Allah gathers a rich blend of voices, faces and natural wonders, a kaleidoscope in which shards of violence and poverty commingle with glimmers of dignity and resilience. 

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Press: HUCK, January 29, 2018 - Miss Rosen


January 29, 2018 - Miss Rosen

Dark, soulful portraits of Harlem at night
Psychic x-rays

Khalik Allah takes to the streets of New York City, capturing the nocturnal locals of Harlem in a series of bold and beautiful images.

In the summer of 1998, Khalik Allah had come to a major crossroad after failing eighth grade. Dancing with a B-boy crew had been keeping him out late at night, and school had failed to interest him. Yet he understood the importance of educating himself. Concerned about his future, he headed up to Harlem and began to study with the Five-Percent Nation at the Allah School.

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Press: THE NEW YORKER, January 18, 2018 - Richard Brody


January 18, 2018 - Richard Brody

A Filmmaker and Photographer’s Urgent, Personal Portraits of Harlem at Night

These images—of people, mainly black people, many of whom endure drug addiction, physical infirmities, poverty, homelessness, and harassment from the police—have an essential documentary urgency. They also have a spiritual essence, an element of passion and grace that’s revealed by Allah’s compositional grandeur and textural intimacy—but these revelations of style arise from his own experience, which he also details in the book, in an extraordinary personal essay, “Camera Ministry.” In the essay, Allah—who has an exhibition opening at New York’s Gitterman Gallery, in March—discusses his first enthusiasm for filmmaking, in the late nineteen-nineties, as a teen-ager from Long Island, at the same time that he began to frequent Harlem, to study the work of the Five Percent Nation, and to become friends with members of the Wu-Tang Clan. He discusses the happenstance of his sudden interest in photography at a time, in his early twenties, when he had put his filmmaking on hold. It’s a story that involves his family, but, above all, it involves his relationships with the people whom he photographs, as well as with other people whom he encountered on the street.

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Press: THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, November 28, 2017 - Luc Sante


November 28, 2017 - Luc Sante

People continue to live on the streets even if we are not as aware of the fact now, as Khalik Allah shows in SOULS AGAINST THE CONCRETE (University of Texas, $50). In 2011, Allah began taking his camera at night to the corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, a drug spot for more than half a century, and established a regular post there. When he got to the point where the regulars trusted him and he could take pictures of people by simply asking, he also realized his method: color film and available light — from streetlights, store windows, cop cars. The combination makes faces appear especially vivid, emerging from the darkness like ships at sea. Many of the faces belong to ravaged smokers of K2, a treacherous marijuana substitute that remains legal in New York State and is sold nearby, but Allah also takes in people who are just walking to the subway station. The result is a panorama of human emotion: sadness, passion, bewilderment, pride, suspicion, amusement, exhaustion — all the faces of the night. “Time is over, and the world has ended,” Allah writes. “Only the Light continues.”