You want Believe This Sublime Blend Of Black Beauty And Floral Arrangements

Hilary Gowan

Journalist

@BloomandPlume is the Instagram account dedicated to exploring the amazing combinations of black beauty and flower arrangements. 'tis the work of Maurice Harris, Los Angeles-based photographer and florist. The series is dubbed Shades Of Blackness. "For the last couple of years, I have been on a journey trying to love myself for who I am– which is not easy when you are a big black gay man that doesn’t fit into society," Maurice said online. "This sent me on a journey to find myself in other people."

"It works to my advantage. You don’t meet a lot of Black florists that do what I do. If I were a white girl, I would be like anybody else," writes Maurice. "My experience of having a grandmother that made [those elaborate] church hats— she was a florist. The way she composed things were from such an interesting point of view. [Her work] influences what I do today. I have nonconventional inspiration, but it is through a Black filter. It informs everything that I do."

HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!!!! Image 2 from our Shades of Blackness vol.2 #untouched #nofilter #naturalopulence Where everything is done in camera no photoshop at all. It is a strong passion of mine to celebrate the beauty that is blackness and the beauty that we find in flowers. I do my best to celebrate all of these things on an everyday bases. This image features the beautiful and amazing @madamejeuge serving up some serious Angela Davis bitch don’t kill my vibe because i am saintly and one of God’s anointed children, but about to clutch my pearls cause you didn’t already know kind of realness. Gracie thank you for being love and light and sharing yourself with me for this project that means so much to me. There are a few calendars left and we are launching postcards in a few days so click the link in bio to order now!!! #realness #keepingitreal #nofakes #noflakes #butforrealtho #howisshetho #imfine #blessedandhighlyfavored #anointed #blacksaint #blackgirlmagic #blackmagic #black #comethru #mamaru

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As I reflect on the life experiment called 2017 a lot of trials and errors but I am here a little stronger, a little wiser, kinda burnt out, but happy to have made it. So much self discovery this year! Through a lot of fighting myself and external validation (I’m human don’t judge me/judge me i don’t give ah fuuuck/it kinda sounds like i do... lol) anyway I finally feel like my calling of artist finally fits, I feel like I am stabilizing my depression, which also translates to excepting myself for who I am where I am, I am starting to gain confidence in my photography, my ability to run a business, even start a new one (Bloom & Plume coffee early 2018) #crazybitch, but also knowing how #reclaimingmytime works. Life ain’t easy but it is a beautiful journey of strange, beautiful, funny, sometimes horrible, but always meaningful events This is a photograph I took with my Muse @eromomen with left overs from a chemistry themed party that we did with @agenc I am so grateful for my life and the people I share it with! I can’t wait to for my the adventures that the future holds!!! Happy New Year

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You know sometimes you just gotta surrender it all when the space that you are in is serving up Super Bomb AF! Especially when you got your girl possey Tiny Timber and Lil Lana standing at your side at over 8ft tall!!! Giving you some ready for the ball with the most major blow out of all time causing that hair to just blow like the wind on a glowing glorious full moon standing center stage in the shadows creating a major body ody ody silhouette singing a little Rihanna "How bout a round of applause, a standing ovation, said you put on quit a show, very entertaining, please..." all while werking (always #werking ) an invisible Manolo stiletto Satin pump in da club kind of realness!! Always have a blast working on parties with @cinespia they let me run wild!!! Such a beautiful party and an amazing space! #livingmylife #getintoit #imintoit #hatersgonnahate but #ballersgonnaball #fullmoon #fullfrontal 😬 #drama #wheremygirlsat #lillana #tinytimber #doyouboo #iseeyou #laterhater (but nobody is hating... leave me alone it just added to the drama and sounded good)

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I'm just over here thinking wild wild thoughts with my homegirl Debra Jean Khalad who goes by DJ for short. I was on the fence because I don't know if you can take it, from what I understand you want to see me nakey, nakey, naked. Well bitch here you go and you better know what to do with all this body ody ody. I mean I am highly considering being your baby, baby, baby, but maybe that was when I was white girl wasted on the brown liquor, what was it called? Oh! It was that chocolate Ciroc with the smooth finish that got me lit AF, how else you think I'm sitting on a vintage bus stop bench in the middle of gentrified Echo Park with nothing on but a pink poly satin almost floor length do-rag edge control pillow case scarf. Truth be told couldn't afford the silk and I don't think Ciroc comes in chocolate which if I'm honest is a little discriminating and don't try to say we have coconut, that don't count. We don't drink coconut we lather our bodies in it (I mean I don't, I use @kiehls creme de corps lotion which is shea butter based explaining the beautiful matte shine glow that I have, but I can't speak for others [apparently you just did... Bitch sit down, #behumble] I mean I am sitting...). Anyway I digress, DJ is always tryin to do the most "ANOTHER ONE", always tryin to do a collaboration, always randomly yelling her name out of the middle of nowhere I might add, and low key tryin to steal the spotlight "SUMMER ANTHEM" with her @bloomandplume pink and purple floral print matching track suit... For whatever reason I was feeling it. Maybe it was the bomb ass flowers #humblebrag or maybe it was the little Spanish guitar playing out of the window above me that reminded me of my childhood 🤔. Anyway just know I'm living/curating my best life... #getintoit #prettyinpink #donttouchmyhair #solange #touchmybody #mariahcarey #wildwildthoughts #rihanna #anotherone #djkhaled #🎸🎶🎶🎶 #carlossantana #ciroc #puffdaddy #puffpastry #pinkpastry #chocolatedrop #droptop #dropyourtop #noilikehim #gurlbye

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Hey Y'all I'm going to be popping up @openingceremony ceremony tomorrow from 11-6 in my soft core extravaganza making handties for your boo or for you #selflove! Please come thru and say hey and pick up a rose or two. Meanwhile check out the story on Opening Ceremony's blog on why I think roses are da bomb. We're not calling it a come back they have been here for years and it's time to get into it... Can we take a moment to talk about what I am serving up in this photo though... I'm serving up some miss Cleo call me now and I can tell you about your love life, but not really because I don't have one of my own #unqulified #annafaris #greatpodcast, however I am content in my Pink on pink on pink on pink splash of lavender palace. But if you decide to come for me you can #catchmeoutsidehowboutdat and I will read you a #jamesbaldwin essay in my @driesvannoten glasses and @skodia mock neck blouse on how history is repeating itself because "people" (I won't say what color...) are not acknowledging the history on which this country was built kind of realness... #hello #immaread #readingisfundamental #alltallshade #ijustwantedsomeflowers #sorryimangry #roses #thecomeback #lisakudrow #pinkonpink #pussypink #formallyknownaspink #alsoknownaspink #betterknownaspink #somepeoplecallmepink #ughnotheragain #idratherbenaked #bornnaked #therestisdrag

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More!

Happy Valentine's Day! Celebrating love of all kinds! But want to highlight and celebrate black love being that we don't see a lot of that which is strange because Valentine's Day is in the middle of black history month so you would think the day would be drenched in beautiful blackness, but it ain't so here you go! My homies @saintarron and @luxelivingston are celebrating 10 years of commitment and love for each other this year. Being able to capture a piece of this connection as well as a piece of that big ass gorgeous pink pussy poppin rose in the bottom corner was such an honor. #love #roses #🌹#emojihashtag #anotherlevel #poppin #loveontop #loveonthebottomtoo #makelove #blacklove #blackgaycouples #blackmagic #blackboymagic #blacklivesmatter #blackandbeautiful #blackneutrals #blacknudes #nudechair #nudevelvet #nakedchocolate #rawchocolate #milkchocolate #hello #oui

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As we continue to fall into fall I present to you Mr.November Cameron Titus. One of the coolest people I have ever met in my life! One of the qualities I find most appealing in people is the ability to be comfortable in there own skin (a skill that takes most of us a lifetime to master). Well @camtightest is one of those people. Cam is himself in the most honest and beautiful way no matter where he goes. He really does define #blackboymagic. I think back to the shoot that took about 10 mins because Cam sat down and was open and vulnerable right off the bat (I mean when I photograph myself I have to warm up to it... lol). It is such an honor to be able to share a little glimpse into the multiple sides of who we are as black people! #blacklivesmatter #blackexcellence #living #shadesofblackness Incredible graphic collaboration with the talented @theglasszipper on our 2016 shades of blackness calendar

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Gurl it’s Cyber Monday... I don’t really know what that means, but in an effort to keep up with the Zuckerbergs we are offering FREE SHIPPING with the purchase of Shades of Blackness Vol. 2 our collection of prints/book/calendar situation thru Wednesday cause I can... lol Link in bio Use code: Hookitup I know she ain’t cheap but nothing worth having ever is... #okaaaaay It’s funny, I pour so much love, hard work, and passion into my art projects that I feel strongly about and then feel ridiculous trying to convince people that I have a great idea... it’s a real struggle trying to find the balance of being pure in my creativity, while trying to find a way to make it to stainable and relevant in a very oversaturated market where everyone is trying to make their mark... But i have to get over myself and #justdoit so here it is putting it out there in hopes that y’all #getintoit #imintoit #good #buyfelicia

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May I present the first image from Shades of Blackness vol.2 #untouched #nofilter #naturalopulence Click the link in profile to pre-order I could barely sleep filled with excitement and anxiety from the idea of sharing a project that has been probably my biggest labor of love to date. I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to put myself out in the world with something that is very close to my heart. But I never let fear stop me from doing anything I feel strongly about so in the words of Janet Jackson in Throb #herewego For the last couple of years I have been on a journey trying to love myself for who I am which is not easy when you are a big black gay man that doesn’t fit into society in the way in which it was taught to you. This sent me on a journey to find myself in other people, so over the course of this past year I cast a diverse group of amazing people for their natural beauty and constructed unexpected (or at least I think so...) Floral compositions that could Only occur with the human touch. All manipulation was done in camera #nophotoshop so the final image would be as is meaning none of the flowers are photoshopped or moved around in post #likeforrealthough What you see is what you get. Each flower, feather, fruit, or vegetable has been strategically placed by hand to create each composition. This project explores stripping away the filters to create images that highlight our natural beauty flaws and all. This project was made with so much love! I thought I would drop it like it’s hot with my little brother @letmypplgo for he truly has been such an inspiration in my life as my training partner, business partner (Bloom & Plume coffee opening dec2017), a true example of staying the course and putting one foot in front of the other, not stopping to look to the left or the right because we are all on the path that we are suppose to be on aka take the time it takes so it takes less time, and a overall big hunk of love and support, oh and I guess it helps that he is fine lol! Anyway y’all know how much I love my siblings... so start your holiday shopping earlier with a gift for yourself... lol #getintoit #imintoit #good #buyfelicia

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