Meet Clifford Prince King, the photographer behind Queer PHOTO: Orange Grove
February 23, 2024

Meet Clifford Prince King, the photographer behind Queer PHOTO: Orange Grove


We had a chat with Clifford Prince King, a self-taught photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. Currently, his compelling series, Orange Grove, is on display at Footscray Community Arts. During the interview, Clifford provides a glimpse into his artistic approach, revealing the sources of inspiration derived from both everyday life and cinematic influences.

As part of Queer PHOTO Clifford Prince King will be joining us for a Film Screening and Q&A  hosted by Gideon D. Wilonja. This event is free but capacity is limited. Book here.

Hello Clifford, please start by telling us a bit about yourself.

I’m a self-taught photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY.

I would describe my work as a visual diary and sometimes a stage.

Most ideas are created in a daydream or by being present in my everyday life.

We’re excited that Orange Grove will be exhibited as part of PHOTO 2024. What’s the story behind this project?

Most of the photographs being shown for this exhibition are from the time I lived on Orange Grove Ave in Los Angeles, CA, from 2016-2019. It was here that I explored my sexual and personal identity to the fullest. I’ve always longed for a space to creatively process, imagine and connect in; and these photographs are a result of that. It was on Orange Grove that I realized that power of friendship, intimacy, nurture and consequence.

Do you have a favourite photograph of the works showing? Tell us a bit about it.

The photo is titled “I Told My Baby to Meet Me on 24th Street”. I think it’s my favourite because of the specific moment in my life. It was 2020, things were very uncertain, but I lived in this big house with my friends, and we really weathered the storm in a beautiful and tender way.

Where do you draw inspiration for your work? Can you explain your artistic process?

Inspiration varies between everyday life and cinema. People watching and noticing small details within interactions informs my work quite a bit. Filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman, photographers like Nan Goldin and Gordon Parks, and the film City of God have helped me find beauty in what others might see as unpleasant. I typically start with a feeling and go from there.

What do you hope viewers take away? What kind of responses does your work typically receive?

I hope the viewer can find a feeling and sit with it for awhile; really digest the moment they’re witnesses. Typically, I hear the words intimate and vulnerability. Other times, I hear how the photographs are raw and not over-sexualized. Though I highlight the daily lives of Black and queer people, any audience demographic is able to dive into their own personal nostalgia, which I love.

The theme for PHOTO 2024 is ‘The Future Is Shaped by Those Who Can See It’. What comes to mind for you when you consider that theme?

For me, I think about growth and working towards wanting more for yourself. Envisioning a way of life, a certain path or some kind of progress and making the changes that are necessary to achieve it.

How do you navigate the intersection of technology and art in the field of photography?

I try to avoid technology within my practice, if I can help it. If mandatory, I’ll resort to YouTube if I need assistance with something.

What other exhibitions or artists are you looking forward to seeing at PHOTO 2024?

Ryan McGinley’s Yearbook photo series is something I remembered seeing online a lot when it debuted, and I’m looking forward to seeing the works in person.

If your project was a song, what would it be?

Galaxy in Turiya, by Alice Coltrane

What advice would you give your 15 year self?

It’s okay to like boys. It’s no big deal.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

I’m a libra and I love love.

Orange Grove is now showing!
Exhibition Date: 3 February—26 May 2024
Artworks are located in Henderson House, Gabriel Gallery.

Film Screening and Q&A  with Clifford Prince King, hosted by Gideon D. Wilonja.
Event Date: 3 March 2024, 1pm
 90 minutes

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