Digital chromogenic print and Plexiglas with Lumisty film
Edition 3/3 + 1 AP
Dimensions: Image / sheet: 48 1/2 × 40 inches (123.2 × 101.6 cm);
Frame: 49 1/8 × 41 × 4 inches (124.8 × 104.1 × 10.2 cm)
Acquired through the Jennifer, Gale, and Ira Drukier Fund
Seeker falls within the contemporary practice of using photography as more than a documentary tool but to convey notions of self-identity, history, and popular culture. Thomas and Biggers employ staging, costuming, and makeup to visually conceptualize the stigma of slavery that exists today.
African American artist Sanford Biggers is posed in a fashion similar to traditional portraiture, occupying the center of the composition. The right half of his body is painted with black pigment, the left half with white. By directing our gaze to these bold contrasts, Thomas demonstrates how the dichotomy of black and white is a man-made construct that stems from years of social inequality. As a viewer approaches and walks around the work, the image blurs in and out of focus. This emphasizes that although racial divides are ingrained within our society, they can become blurred and even erased with a certain perspective. ("15 Minutes: Exposing Dimensions of Fame," curated by undergraduate members of Cornell's History of Art Major's Society and presented at the Johnson Museum April 16 - July 24, 2016)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.