Arthur Jafa

New Soul Rebel
Short Film


Born in Tupelo, Mississippi and educated at Howard University, Jafa first rose to prominence for lensing Daughters of the Dust (1991), Julie Dash’s seminal film that earned Jafa a “Best Cinematography” award at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival. Jafa’s Dreams Are Colder Than Death, an experimental documentary exploring black identity in America, was an official selection at the 2014 New York Film Festival. He is perhaps best known for, Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death (2016), a seven-minute video set to Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam.” This critically-acclaimed exploration of African-American identity screened across the world, in galleries including Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MoCA) and the Serpentine in London, but to name a few. In 2017, along with TNEG — –the motion picture studio he co-founded — –Jafa also conceived, shot and edited the music video for JAY-Z’s 4:44, the title track from his newest album. Jafa’s most recent exhibition, A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions, premiered last June at the Serpentine Galleries in London.
Arthur Jafa