Art

Self-Portrait at Eleven Years Old


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American (Bronx, NY born 1960)
Self-Portrait at Eleven Years Old, 2004
Print
American
,
21st century
Cotton base sheet with stenciled pulp painting
91.5 x 76.2 cm (36 x 30 in.)
11/20
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund
, M26683
Commentary
"Self-Portrait at Eleven Years Old" is another example of Glenn Ligon using images and words of his cultural heroes to explore his own identity. The paper-pulp print depicts Stevie Wonder as pictured on his 1977 compilation album, "Looking Back." The musician looks very 1970s chic--wearing dark aviator glasses, a short, tight afro, and a wide-collared nylon shirt. Light sparkles from the corner of his glasses.

The print was made at the papermaking studio, Dieu Donné. It is composed of a series of pulp-paper circles that are grouped together like giant Ben-Day dots. To make the image, Ligon made a drawing based on the album cover that was then printed on mylar. Stencils were cut from the mylar sheets and paper pulp was pushed through the cut-out circles onto a light blue sheet of paper. The raised circles of black and white paper pulp give the image a three-dimensional presence.
Marks
signed: l.l. in graphite pencil: Glenn Ligon 2004; l.r. in graphite pencil: 11/20
Provenance
[Dieu Donné Paper Mill, Inc., New York, New York], sold; to Harvard University Art Museums, December 15, 2005.
Exhibition History
Contemporary Art from the Harvard University Art Museums Collections, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/23/2007 - 01/31/2008