Donavon Smallwood

Donavon Smallwood (b. 1994) is a self-trained American photographer focusing on creating intimate portraiture and images investigating nature & civilization through absolute idealism. He studied comparative literature and documentary film production at CUNY Hunter College. He has done portrait work for various acclaimed publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Wire Magazine, and T Magazine. His latest project, Languor, is set to be published in late 2021. He was born, is currently based, and works in New York, New York.


‘Languor’ is a project that presents itself as an interaction between images of NYC’s Central Park landscape and genuine portraits taken within the space. With the history of the park being constructed by using eminent domain to strip landowning African-Americans of their property/homes in mind, many of which formed this community to escape the unhealthy conditions and racism found in the other inhabited parts of Manhattan – the work is an examination of nature, the negation of civilization, home, and [the possibility of] escape; centering black tranquility among the chaos of nature space, history, and life today.

To view more of Donavon’s work please visit their website.