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LÉWÀ (beautiful) by acclaimed photographer Luke Austin - the debut publication from Miloš Mestas Editions.

LÉWÀ - the Yoruba word for "beautiful" - is the culmination of Mr. Austin's five-year photographic journey counterbalancing and navigating the realms of societal prejudices and norms. Containing over 100 exquisitely produced original photographic works, LÉWÀ is as much an oeuvre of extraordinary artistic distinction as it is of social and political commentary. The book includes a foreword by The Tenth Magazine founder Khary Septh and text by writer & linguist Kola Tubosun. 

About the artist
Luke Austin is an Australian photographer based in Los Angeles. His portraiture work focuses on the energy, beauty, and vulnerability associated with male youth. He began exhibiting his portraiture work in 2011, following a successful decade working in fashion photography, and has exhibited in Sydney, New York, Florida, and Los Angeles.

A comprehensive breadth of his work can be viewed at lukeaustinphoto.com. His Instagram handle is @lukeaustinphoto.

Artist's statement
"The decision to make this book came from me wanting to open up conversation about what I had noticed when posting portraits of POC next to portraits of white people. The difference in love and attention each received. I also knew I had a great collection of portraits of black men that were different to what I had always seen in the pages of male portraiture coffee table books. I feel that black men are usually photographed as objects with a focus on muscles and often sexualized with a focus on their private parts. My portraits are a softer more vulnerable capture of each model's beauty. A beauty that I want racist white America to really see. I also think any imagery that distances black men from the common discussion and stereotype of them being rough, scary, hood, thug, etc. is incredibly important."

Publication specifications
LÉWÀ (beautiful), Luke Austin, 2018
Art / Photography
Hardcover with slipcase, 148 pages
9 inches x 11 inches
Printed in California

LÉWÀ is published with the creative support of Dilge Kutluoğlu (Paris) & Carlos Valdivia Biedma (Madrid). 

Book Launch Events
Book launch events took place throughout February and March 2018. 

Los Angeles
February 10th at 5:00 PM
UN.plugged by Please Do Not Enter
643 North Flores Street

New York
February 24th at 12:00 PM
16 Orchard Street

February 28th at 6:30 PM
Cărturești Carusel
Strada Lipscani 55

March 3rd at 2:00 PM
20 Upper Ground | Southbank

March 4th at 2:00 PM
20, rue Dupetit- Thouars

March 9th at 7:00 PM
P7 Gallery
Prenzlauer Allee 7

March 16th at 8:00 PM
Calle de Hortaleza, 62