Clifford Prince King: Want 2 Love U

Just the Two of Us, 2019, Archival inkjet on Photo Brag Baryata 315, 36 x 24 in, Edition of 5

“No need for words…they had always known each other…as they undressed by the blue dawn…Alex knew he had never seen a more perfect being…his body was all symmetry and music…and Alex called him Beauty…long they lay…blowing smoke and exchanging thoughts…and Alex swallowed with difficulty…he felt a glow of tremor…and they talked and…slept.” 

-Richard Bruce Nugent, “Smoke Lilies and Jade”, FIRE!!

The six works presented in Clifford Prince King’s current exhibition, “Want 2 Love U,” currently on view at Launch F18, capture the tenderness and intimacy of people coming together. Over the past few years, the self-taught LA-based photographer has cultivated a recognizable sense of style, subject matter, and richness in palette. Looking at King’s body of work is like stepping into a warm room, yellow and orange filmic hues cast upon backdrops of beiges, browns. The aesthetic is comfort. King’s photograph Just The Two of Us, depicting two Black men hugging in a yellowed kitchen, feels at once familiar and unfamiliar. King’s work centers queer Black men, in soft settings, often shirtless in bedrooms, the fragrance of flowers. The portraits are poetic and complex, suggesting a past, a narrative. These are real relationships. The models stare directly at us, at King, with a knowing look. “My photographs show Black people in an everyday setting, in the way we see ourselves,” King says, often coding his images for Blackness and queerness with the presence of a bottle of RUSH, a hair product from his childhood. In Sydney Haliburton’s text for King’s exhibition at MF Projects, Colors So True, she notes: “Melancholia often marks scenes of Black queerness, reflective of the ‘stigma, injustice, and hardships’ that afflict gay Black men. Through a display of vulnerability and intimacy, the Black gay body gently exposed in King’s work remedies this trauma through the act of knowing and being known.”

Clifford Prince King and Launch F18 are donating 100% of all sales from “Want 2 Love U” to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people. “Want 2 Love U” will be on view digitally at Launch F18 until June 27th. 

Malcolm, 2018, Archival inkjet on Luster, 24 x 18 in Edition of 3

Lovers in a Field, 2019, Archival inkjet on Photo Brag Baryata 315, 45 x 30 in
Edition of 5

Granny’s Units, 2019, Archival inkjet on Luster, 24 x 18 in, Edition of 3

Jug of Change, 2019, Archival inkjet on Photo Brag Baryata 315, 36 x 24 in
Edition of 3

Forces, 2020, Archival inkjet on Photo Brag Baryata 315, 36 x 24 in
Edition of 5

Browse Clifford Prince King’s available prints here, 100% of sales go to Marsha P. Johnson Institute. Or donate directly here: