Ackeem Salmon



View some of Ackeem Salmon‘s work

Ackeem Salmon is a BFA graduate from the College for Creative Studies, majoring in Photography and Fine Art with honors. Since 2015, he has worked as an Art Director, Photographer, and Fine Artist independently and with various companies and non-profit work.

During his undergraduate career, Ackeem studied, worked, and lived in Paris, France for the duration of his junior year (2017 – 2018). He worked with local designers, artists, and institutions for Paris Fashion Week in summer 2018.

In his entirety, Ackeem is an interdisciplinary artist who combines his fine art, photography, film, performance, music, and writings of critical theory. His work is often based around postcolonial theories and the understanding of human individuality and social progress. He explores in-depth the way that cultural history affects people’s present-day identities, and how these identities connect through human commonality and empathy. Recently, Ackeem was nominated by the Pierians Foundation for their National Emerging Artist Award, and the National Jessie Colson Award.

When not creating artwork, Ackeem enjoys cooking, dancing, and swimming. For up-to-date information visit his Instagram at ar_salmon or his website at ackeemsalmonart.com.

Artist Statement

Remembering Yellow explores my childhood growing up in Jamaica and my adulthood living in Detroit. This body of work acts as a series of self-portraits that show my misplacement and hope of identity in my life. Growing up in Jamaica, I had often felt out of place; being a bit softer spoken, gentler in how I viewed the world around me, I was often criticized on how I expressed myself.

During my childhood and teenage years, my insecurities extended from my overall mannerisms, sexuality, hair texture, skin color, weight, facial features, and overall physical appearance. I have always wanted to understand these internal dialogues, and to question the reasons why others and myself have often felt lost in our own bodies and identities. Looking to Caribbean and African history, I started to have deeper frustrations and questions about colonialism, and its impact on the Caribbean landscape. I began to look into artistic movements like Junkanoo which was used during times of slavery as a way to stimulate hope and humor during the harsh political and social climate. Seeing people dress up in costumes, perform on stilts, listening to music, and going to carnival celebrations- there has always been a deeper sense of joy within Jamaican people in the post-colonial reality. In these works, I reimagine Junkanoo into a more modern sense: to illustrate my personal story and community, using symbols and masks that represent a larger field of internal conflict, vulnerability, and hopefulness.

Remembering Yellow emphasizes the need to live based on one’s true individuality and right to freedom, regardless of social and institutional constraints. It aims to understand both the Afro-Caribbean and African American identity, showing both the pain and hope for myself and others within the African Diaspora.

Areas of Interest