LaToya Ruby Frazier (American, b. 1982). Self Portrait (March 10 am), 2009. Gelatin silver photograph, 19 x 15 in. On loan from the Collection of Moses Luski and Lori Collins Luski.
June 25 – September 25
Located on the third floor of The Baker Museum
Portraits serve as expressions of identity, popular taste and social standing, and as documents of who, when and where at a given point in time. Representing oneself in the best light or seeing others in understandable terms are motives behind why we record images of each other, whether for rituals, documentation of events, art making or as expressions of status.
True Likeness presents contemporary portraits from diverse makers in a variety of media including video, photography, painting, collage, installation, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. These artists, some familiar, others more on the fringe of the art world, hail from all over the United States. Their own identities, and those presented through their works, provide a snapshot of who we are as a country. As the exhibition took shape over the last two years, as overt and coded hate speech became congruent with one of the most divisive presidential elections of our time, it became apparent that highlighting and celebrating diversity was paramount.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant mask mandate have prevented us from seeing the full faces of others while in public spaces. Perhaps our inability to focus on superficial characteristics will enable us to instead reflect on our profound similarities as humans, a notion many of the artists included in True Likeness address through their art.
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Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke, b. 1981). Apsáalooke Feminist #1, 2016. Pigment print, 36 1/2 x 43 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist and Sargent’s Daughters, New York, NY.
Juan Fuentes (American, b. 1950). Primas y Primos, 2019. Linocut, 24 x 18 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Kameron Neal (American, b. 1992). Liquid Love, 2017. Loop of stop-motion videos. Courtesy of the artist.
Antonius-Tin Bui (Vietnamese-American, b. 1992). Chời ơi, 2018. Hand-cut paper, acrylic paint, 97 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Sam Doyle (American, 1906-1985). Onk Sam, 1982. House paint on wood panel, 31 x 26 1/4 in. Courtesy of the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC.
Amir H. Fallah (American, b. 1979). Ancestors 1, 2015. C-print, acrylic, and dried oil paint skins, 20 x 16 in. Courtesy of Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College.
Chris Sullivan (American, b. 1958). Queen Elizabeth from Twenty-two Drawn Famous Faces, 2018. Graphite, pen, 8 x 10 in. On loan from the artist.
John Monteith (American, b. 1966). No. 101, 1996-1998. Collage, dimensions variable. On loan from the artist.
True Likeness, curated by Tom Stanley and Lia Newman, was first displayed at the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College. The presentation of this exhibition at Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum is curated by Rangsook Yoon, PhD, Curator of Modern Art. The exhibition and brochure would not have been possible without the support of the Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment, Bacca Foundation Visiting Lecture and Artist Fund, Davidson College Friends of the Arts, and Stories Yet to be Told: Race, Racism and Accountability, a Davidson College institutional initiative.