“So much of my work has not been fully investigated.
Many people see my early work simply as portraits of black and brown people.
Really, it’s an investigation of how we see those people and how they have been perceived over time.
The performance of black American identity feels very different from actually living in a black body.
There’s a dissonance between inside and outside.”
It was unveiled yesterday at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Do share with us what you think of the portrait.
“The discomfort with a large-scale art practice comes from a myth in an artistic process that never existed.
Rubens, Michelangelo: Both had large studios with many assistants.
There is a long line of artists who work with other artists to realize a larger vision than is possible with one hand.
Education in art history taught me this, as did being steeped in the reality of painting.
My interest is in completing an image that is spectacular beyond belief.
My fidelity is to the image and the art and not to the bragging rights of making every stroke on every flower.
It’s not romantic, but that romance never existed.”