Slick

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Barkley L. Hendricks
American (b. 1945)
Slick, 1977
Oil, acrylic, and magna on canvas
78.62

Philadelphia-born artist Barkley Hendricks is reputed for his hyperrealist paintings of modern-day African-Americans as urban hipsters, divas, or basketball players that paralleled the rise of black empowerment movements during the 1960s and '70s. In this self-portrait, Hendricks is elegantly dressed in a white linen suit and presents himself as the essence of contemporary cool. The viewer’s eye is drawn to the artist’s dark skin tone and his African cap, which establish a chromatic conceit for the black-and-white politics of the era. Hendricks's identity as an artist is literally reflected in his glasses, which catch the light from the arched windows of his studio.