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Images & Text © 2017 Michael Forbes - All rights reserved.

Auto Portrait after Rembrandt - a Black man in a wig & baseball cap  2018
Photograph on MDF & Plexiglas1.50m x 1.00m 
Photograph on MDF & Plexiglas1.50m x 1.00m 
Photograph on MDF & Plexiglas1.50m x 1.00m 
Photograph on MDF & Plexiglas1.50m x 1.00m 
Photograph on MDF & Plexiglas1.50m x 1.00m 

Auto Portrait - After Rembrandt Black man in a wig and baseball cap

For this new work Forbes has developed a series of self portraits using material purchased for The Masquerade sculptural work – he places himself in the centre of the images, thereby making a direct link between him and the work he makes.

Forbes acknowledges his work is a physical manifestation of his cultural experience and history but he understands the photographic image can and will be a representation of something beyond himself. The image of a Black male symbolises many things beyond the individual, which he explores through the following areas: the gaze, wigs, baseball caps, the black men and sexuality and adornment.

Forbes has constructed the image to challenge the viewer by consciously presenting a non-smiling and non-gesturing face, thereby allowing for many readings of the images, which could include challenging, sad, fearful and unfriendly and questions of sexuality.

Although all of the above could be true, he challenges the viewer to move beyond the surface of the images, which can stand-alone or presented alongside the 12 Station of the Masquerade work.

This work is also informed by Forbes’s recent research for his dissertation, titled The Metaphysics and Racial Politics of Blackness through the work of Kerry James Marshall, which explores the wider understanding of Blackness which is not exclusively based on race.

 

The dissertation covers:
• Metaphysics and Ontology of Blackness
• Black normality and existence
• Chromatic variations of Black in Marshall’s work linked to

the ontology of Blackness
• Racism / violence – Black Lives Matter

• The Museum - exclusion of Black artists

Photograph on MDF & Plexiglas1.50m x 1.00m 
Photograph on MDF & Plexiglas1.50m x 1.00m