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Homage to a Brother

Henry Taylor Homage to a Brother, 2007 Acrylic and collage on linen 85 1/2 × 78 1/2 × 3 3/4 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg 2007.13

Recalling historical and contemporary events in his depictions of Black-American men and women, Henry Taylor actively works to merge the personal and political. Using vibrant colors to bring bold and loose brushstrokes to life, Taylor comments on the larger issues of violence within and against Black-American communities. Homage to a Brother is a portrait of Sean Bell, who in 2006 was shot and killed by plainclothes detectives on the eve of his wedding in Queens, New York. Referencing found images of Bell’s neighborhood, Taylor depicts Bell as a larger-than-life figure, and both memorializes and celebrates his life.