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The exhibition has deep roots for Adrian, yet the idea was first inspired by a series of coincidences. A friend recommended that Adrian shoot product photos for OJI Royale in Los Angeles, which makes designer and luxury durags.

“That’s what I was set to do, but I try to tell stories within all of my work in some shape or form, and it kind of came out that way,” Adrian says. “When I got the negatives back and I started really paying attention to the film, I felt that there was a story there.”

“I was looking to depict photos that erase the possibility of threat that is often assigned to black men,” Adrian continues. “We are eliminated at a crazy rate these days just due to how we look and how we present ourselves in garments such as a durag when we’re just protecting ourselves — we’re protecting our hair. These photos show that, and I wanted to show that intimacy within these black men, these harmless black men. This is just what we look like.”

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