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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Frohawk Two Feathers
Culture:American (1976- )
Title:Apollo in Irons ("I need a new nigga for this black cloud to follow, 'cause while it's over me it's too dark to see tomorrow."), from the series It's Yours: Wars of the Frenglish Revolution and other Conflicts 1782-1797
Date Made:2012
Type:Painting
Materials:Acrylic, ink, coffee, and tea on paper
Place Made:North America; United States; New York; New York City
Measurements:Frame: 34 in x 26 1/2 in; 86.4 cm x 67.3 cm; Sheet: 29 3/4 in x 22 1/4 in x 1 in; 75.6 cm x 56.5 cm x 2.5 cm
Accession Number:  MH 2012.19
Credit Line:Purchase with the Belle and Hy Baier Art Acquisition Fund
mh_2012_19_v1.jpg

Description:
Bust-length self-portrait of the artist in an oval field; he wears a white shirt and manacles on his hands; plants in background. There are tattoos on his face, including the letters "abd" (crossed out) meaning "slave" in Arabic. In the catalogue accompanying this series, the artist writes: "Abd is an arabic word meaning slave. It is only used for slaves and is tattooed in the middle of the forehead. It is always pejorative. It can however be crossed out if the person becomes free. Yet is remains as a reminder." (from: Frohawk Two Feathers, "It's yours; Wars of the Frenglish Revoluton and other conflicts 1782-1797"; essay by Veronica Roberts, published by Morgan Lehman Gallery on the occasion of the exhibition there in spring 2012 (copy in object file).

Label Text:
In his paintings Frohawk Two Feathers gives us a glimpse into a fantastical world, an alternate version of history in which 18th-century France and England have joined forces to become an unstoppable colonial power. Two Feathers depicts characters and scenes from this strange yet familiar world, often focusing on colonized peoples and places. His subjects seem simultaneously historical and contemporary. In this painting, the character Apollo wears a white wig reminiscent of 18th-century French nobility and his wrists are shackled with old-fashioned manacles. Yet his heavily tattooed face, painted nails, and even the title of the painting are drawn from contemporary pop culture.

-Kendra Weisbin, Associate Curator of Education, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)

Keywords/Tags:
self-portrait; African-American; post-colonial; tattoo; fiction; history; narrative; arabic writing; slave

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