Who is Cocoa Rae?
Cocoa Rae is a New York-based visual artist, curator, photographer, and business owner of By Cocoa Rae LLC, who creates captivating portraits and art of unique and diverse people and captures their true essence. Her style consists of vivid colors, Afrocentric shapes, vibes, and bold lighting techniques. Cocoa's goal is to create a new style of photography and art that promotes individuality, authenticity, body positivity, and self-love. Cocoa Rae's photographic portfolio ranges in fashion, editorials, portraiture, and fine arts. Currently, Cocoa shoots both film and digital photography.
Cocoa Rae has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in digital photography. During her undergraduate years of art school, Cocoa started a year-long portrait array called Pigment Series; a collection of mixed media artwork that consists of semi-nude photography and body painting. Each portrait captures the model's true essence while promoting self-love, body positivity, and individuality.
After graduating, Cocoa continued to work on the Pigment Series as well as other various artistic projects. In 2019, she became an Artist in Residence at Flower City Arts Center in Rochester, NY.
Through all her years of work, Cocoa Rae has collaborated with various people and institutions, such as The Slave Dwelling Project, The Cocktail Bandits, Charleston Fashion Week, Charleston Magazine, Tedx Talks, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester Artist Collaborative, Writers and Books, George Eastman House, and various others. In addition, she also curated two BLM exhibitions in honor of Daniel Prude.
COLLABORATED WITH OVER 40 BRANDS, COMPANIES, INSTITUTIONS, & ORGANIZATIONS
BFA in Digital Photography, 2018
Associates in Liberal Arts & Sciences, 2015
Art In Residence at Flower City Art Center, 2019-2021
Galleries & Exhibitions
Essence at Finger Lakes Community College Art Space 36
February 17th- April 2nd, 2022
Season of Warhol: The Black Vanguard at The Black House
July 29th-August 8th, 2021
A Sanctuary for Daniel Prude at The Black House
May 2nd-8th, 2021
Black Lives Through Lenses at The Ave: Blackbox Theatre
October 2nd- November 13th, 2020
Things I Imagined at 540 West Main
May 1st-31st, 2019
Gaillard Center, Charleston, SC
September 10th,-24th, 2018
McLeod Plantation, James Island, SC
The Creative Spirit: Art Section in Democrat & Chronicles
March 20th, 2022
Truth & Freedom by Luther Brown
In This Moment Chapbook: The Gatekeeper: Adrian Elim
African Booty Scratcha by Lester Mayers
Holy Spirits by The Cocktail Bandits
December 2017-January 2018
Articles & Videos
MeFeater: 25 Black Women Photographers
You Should Know About
BOOK WITH COCOA RAE!
Background image by Adam Eaton