Rodney McMillian (b. 1969) Stripes, 2016 Latex on bed sheet 92 1/2 × 79 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee 2016.23
Within Rodney McMillian’s multidisciplinary practice, postconsumer and everyday products serve as core materials for his paintings and sculptures. In using discarded objects, ranging from bedsheets to armchairs, the artist evokes connections to intimacy and the home and addresses psychological and physical manifestations of suffering tied to socioeconomic realities. In Stripes, McMillian applies latex to a used sheet. With the sheet no longer activated solely by its proximity to bodies, and displayed in their absence, we are left to reconsider what it means when objects lose their consumer value.