John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images
Rachaell Davis
Dec, 02, 2017

The visual for Kendrick Lamar's single, "Element" from his Grammy-nominated album, DAMN, was nothing short of groundbreaking and a new exhibit from the Gordon Parks Foundation is shining a spotlight on some of the images that gave birth to the video's impactful concept.

The "Element" music video was heavily inspired by the extraordinary work of iconic photo journalist Gordon Parks, and included several of his pieces that humanized the struggle, beauty, strength and resilience of African-American life and social justice issues affecting Black communities. The Gordon Parks Foundation is hoping to bring the powerful messaging in both the photos and the music video to the forefront yet again, by way of a new exhibit titled after the song itself. 

Gordon Parks Foundation Executive Director Peter Kunhardt spoke highly of Kendrick's conscious effort to expose a new generation to Parks' historic work.

"Gordon Parks’ work is continuing to have a great impact on young people," Kunhardt  said in a statement. "And particularly on artists like Kendrick, who use the power of imagery to examine issues related to social justice and race in our country. With ELEMENT the music video, Kendrick has helped to call attention to one of the most important artists of our time.”

The ELEMENT exhibit will be on display from December 1 - February 10 at the Foundation's exhibition space in Pleasantville, NY.