Mask or Mirror? A Play of Portraits - Masculine Masquerade

Act 1
Masculine Masquerade
Act 2
Who is She
Act 3
Family Values
Act 4
No Body
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Yasser Arafat, 1999, silver gelatin print, Courtesy Sonnabend Gallery.
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Masculine Masquerade features males in roles ranging from sovereign to soldier, priest to patriarch, and cross-dressing stage actor to schoolboys playing military dress-up. Contemporary images by Andy Warhol, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Chuck Close, and Salomon Huerta are considered within the context of Egyptian, Roman, and Persian portraits exploring the artifice of public vs. private personas and anonymity despite likeness.

Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes, Portrait of Fray Miguel Fernandez y Flores, 1815, oil on canvas, Museum purchase, 1911.25.
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A complex portrait by Rineke Dijkstra seen in the historic context of images by Francesco Goya and August Sander of men (and boys) in “uniform”—soldier, cleric, and cook—ask us to consider our assumptions about the wearer's beliefs, values, and behavior. Like the colonial painter Thomas Smith, contemporary artists Zhang Huan and Gregory Gillespie each held a mirror to mortality in his self-portrait—an act as public as it is private.



Back to Mask or Mirror.       On to Act 2


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