Malik Yusef Cumbo has been a photographer for over twenty years. His photography experiences are as diverse as his music selections. Malik was trained first by his motherFikisha Cumbo, a music photojournalist who is best known for her work with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. She put a camera in his hand at age 6 to get him to photograph a portrait of her. This began many years of photographing her, which led to his natural magnetism toward portraiture. He grew up looking at the many great photographers such as Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee, Albert Watson, Herb Ritz, Matt Mahurin, and
many more as well as many painters, whose art work influenced the “painting and drawing effect” within his work. He felt if he could photograph with the same kind of eyes and feeling that so many great painters had painted in their classics, he could then be on to something.
Through his twenty-five years in the photography industry he has gained the respect of many; but Malik feels that he has just now tapped the tip of the iceberg with his work, even though he has had many years of training as a photographer’s apprentice. In addition to training at the School of Visual Arts, he has a multitude of portraits and projects under his belt. He feels these were all studies for his best work yet to come.