Robert Carter Biography
Known for his expressive and richly colored photographs, Robert Carter blends his commercial training and experience in advertising with a passion for art history, Afrofuturism and cultural preservation. Citing an eclectic array of inspirations, including Richard Avedon, Melina Matsoukas, Rob Marshall and Caravaggio, Carter creates sumptuously staged images that are as theatrical as they are narratively impactful. In his fine art practice, Carter has described his mission to “portray [his] subjects—especially those of queer and/or BIPOC identity—in elevated, radiant and expansive ways.”
Carter’s first introduction to the power of aesthetics came via classic films and musicals. In his youth, he variously channeled his creative energies into singing, writing, dancing and playing the trumpet, before discovering his passion for photography. Born in southern Maryland, Carter relocated to attend the Art Institute of Philadelphia, where he received his B.S. in Photography in 2011. He launched a successful career as a commercial photographer, and his work has been featured nationally and internationally on billboards, television and in various publications.
In 2019, he came to the attention of the fine art world as the founder of Black Boy Blue, a multidisciplinary group exhibition series celebrating the work of up-and-coming Black, male-identifying artists. The following year, he debuted the solo exhibition Femme Noire at the SPACE Art Gallery in Philadelphia; Carter was also invited to participate in the first Crafted Vision Artist Showcase, featuring Black, Indigenous and POC creatives practicing in a variety of visual media. In 2021, Carter was selected as a recipient of the Mural Arts Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia.