Clifford Prince King

Introduction by
Willy Ndatira
Photography by
Clifford Prince King


LOS ANGELES – Clifford Prince King is charming and distractingly good looking. The thoughtfulness, ease and intelligence found in his images is a reflection of the artist himself. I refer to Clifford as an artist because photography is just one of the many mediums he has explored thus far. Next to the photographs he also makes video works.
     Growing up in the scorching Arizona desert, there wasn’t much to do but stay indoors and watch movies. Although, he doesn’t care much about plots and dialogues. For him it’s all about mood and cinematic experience.
     Clifford is self-taught and not really obsessed with camera equipment and technicalities. He describes his photographs as an invitation to believe in friendships, romance, and intimacy. Subject and sitters are found amongst his group of friends, the L.A. queer scene, one of the cities he’s been living in for the past five years. Sometimes it’s someone from Grindr. But there’s nothing exploitative about his images of Black queer and gay men around America. He is not a voyeur. He doesn’t like to ‘take and leave’. For example, a recent visit to Harlem inspired him, but in the end, he didn’t photograph anybody. It didn’t feel right.
     The kind of pictures Clifford takes are the ones he wishes had existed while growing up in a predominantly white space. His work is not about the Black male body as a fetish nor to be viewed through a lens of trauma, death or violence, which is often how mainstream media and the porn industry represents us. Clifford Prince King’s images are filled with love and respect for Black queer and gay men.
     ‘Everybody gets to see themselves that way,’ he tells me. ‘Why not us?’ I agree with him, why not? We need to be the change we want to see.