Cecil McDonald Jr. is most interested in the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of black culture, particular as this culture intersects with and informs the larger culture. Through photography, video, and dance/performance, he seeks to investigate and question the norms and customs that govern our understanding of each other, our families, and the myriad of societal struggles and triumphs. McDonald studied fashion, house music, and dance club culture before receiving an MFA in photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor and a teaching artist at the Center for Community Arts Partnership at Columbia College Chicago. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with works in the permanent collections of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago Bank of America LaSalle Collection, and Museum of Contemporary Photography. McDonald was awarded the Joyce Foundation Midwest Voices & Visions Award, the Artadia Award, The Swiss Benevolent Society, Lucerne, Switzerland Residency, and the 3Arts Teaching Artist Award. He participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in July 2013. In 2016, the first edition of his monograph In The Company of Black was published and was shortlisted by the Aperture Foundation for the 2017 First PhotoBook Award.