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Maker(s):Pinder, Jefferson
Culture:American (1970- )
Title:Invisible Man
Date Made:2007
Materials:Pigment print on paper
Measurements:Frame: 29 1/16 in x 34 1/16 in x 1 1/2 in; 73.8 cm x 86.5 cm x 3.8 cm; Sheet: 22 1/2 in x 30 in; 57.1 cm x 76.2 cm
Narrative Inscription:  Invisible Man 14/30 Jefferson Pinder
Accession Number:  UM 2013.9
Credit Line:Gift of Jefferson Pinder
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

The the head and torso of the artist dressed in suit and tie standing on the left with a rough cinderblock room in the background, with wiring and many glowing light bulbs overhead.

Label Text:
Exhibition Label, 40 Years / 40 Artists, January 22–March 8, 2015:
This still from the artist’s video Invisible Man (2005) represents a well-known scene from Ralph Ellison’s classic novel of the same title, in which he writes about his protagonist’s struggle to find identity in the darkness of a damp basement. Ellison tells us, “Light confirms my reality, gives birth to my form…. Without light I am not
only invisible but formless as well; and to be unaware of one’s form is to live a death…. The truth is the light and light is the truth.”

Speak to Me of Rivers: An Exploration of Race, Identity, and Lived Experience in African American Culture; February 12 - March 3, 2019:
“I read Invisible Man [Ralph Ellison, 1952] when I was about thirty because I never got around to it until then. I read Richard Wright and other authors that engaged with identity during the 1950s. I discovered that what these authors were writing about correlated with my own experience. In particular, Ellison rendered wonderful visuals of black applicants in a ring blindfolded and fighting each other until one person was left standing. My piece was based on the first eight pages of the novel [Invisible Man] where the protagonist talks about stealing electricity from the light company.”
— Jefferson Pinder
Pinder says “Starting in darkness, I am gradually exposed to light, one bulb at a time. The intense light becomes too much for the digital camera to handle and
gradually I am forced into a consequential white out…..My job is to allow the lights to control my existence, to confirm my reality.”

interiors; men; portraits; African American

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