(Senegalese, b. 1980)
Inkjet print on Hahnemüle paper
Image: 90 x 90 cm (35 7/16 x 35 7/16 in.); Paper: 91.8 x 91.9 cm (36 1/8 x 36 3/16 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Whitehill Art Purchase Endowment Fund 2020.230
Edition: Edition of 8 + 2 AP
Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was the most photographed person of the mid-19th century.
The artist poses here as Frederick Douglass. Diop has replaced the fierce energy seen in photographs of the abolitionist with an elegance and languid grace, translating a diary of struggle into a civil rights hero. The yellow whistle is a reference to soccer because for Diop, that sport “reveals where society is in terms of race.” In Europe, Diop has observed “an interesting blend of glory, hero-worship and exclusion.”
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