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Self-Portrait #4 (ME)

Nadine Robinson (b. 1968) Self-Portrait #4 (ME), 2002 Acrylic and human hair on canvas 54 1/2 × 42 × 6 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg 2011.11.8

This work expands upon concepts of the self-portrait genre. Rather than present a painted frontal view of a face or body, Robinson places her hair on her canvas as both an artistic medium and a representation of herself. Self-Portrait #4, part of a series, centers hair as fundamental to the creation of the artist’s identity, which in turn speaks to the critical role of hair in the process of self-expression for many Black people. 

Artist in Residence 2000–01