Dawoud Bey began his career as a photographer in 1975 with a series of photographs called Harlem, USA, which was later exhibited in his first one-person exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. He has since had numerous exhibitions worldwide, at such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; National Portrait Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, organized a mid-career survey of his work, Dawoud Bey: Portraits 1975-1995. A major publication of the same title was also published in conjunction with that exhibition. Class Pictures was published by Aperture in 2007.
"With his award-winning portraiture, Dawoud Bey captures the humanity of the people he photographs as well as the vibrancy of the communities where they live." --PDN
"Perhaps his greatest power as an artist lies here. In his ability to make work that changes the world without straying from complete normality."--Ryan White, i-D