Two Invisible Men Naked

13

Kerry James Marshall

1985

Painting, 152.4 x 203.2 cm.
Materials: two panels, acrylic, paper

Collection: Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, NY, and Koplin Del Rio, CA.

In the diptych Two Invisible Men Naked (1985) Marshall was inspired by the characters played by Claude Rains in the film The Invisible Man (1933), placing them alongside one another. On the right-hand panel the white representation is almost invisible, reduced to near complete monochrome. On the left-hand panel we see his invisible black double painted in a reductive style, come emphatically to the fore from the dark background, mainly because of the white of the eyes and teeth. In this work, Marshall looks to discuss the social invisibility of the black subject within the binary relation of opposing colours – black and white.

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