view single item
Title: Sequoia Alina
Date: 2013
Medium: Black-and-white fiber print; face-mounted to non-glare acrylic and backed with 6mm Sintra
Edition 2/3 + 2 AP
Dimensions: Frame: 109.5 × 160 cm (43 1/8 × 63 in.)
Credit Line: Gift of the artist
Object Number: 2013.046
Label Text: Slater Bradley’s explorations of celebrity, fan-idol relationships, and the mythology of imagery demonstrate the dependence of fame on photography. This monumental portrait is a manifestation of his own idolization of the model—his muse and love interest—and of an image’s ability to elevate and preserve its subject.

Surrounded by the rings of a sequoia tree, this is one of his series of large-scale photo-drawings of Alina in which he marks, wrinkles, manipulates, and reprints her image. The presence of tree rings reference a scene in Hitchcock’s Vertigo that was filmed in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park, where the characters Madeleine and John view a cross section of a sequoia marked with a timeline of historical events. Madeleine points to the rings, noting, “Somewhere in here I was born . . . and here I died and it was only a moment for you . . . you took no notice. . . .”

Bradley’s reference to Vertigo infuses the work with an intense yet hopeless desire. Through his depiction of Alina, he hopes to preserve and exalt her, yet he knows that it is futile. The image of Alina functions as her substitute, meant to create an enduring legacy beyond her body’s life. But Sequoia Alina itself is fragile, a photo-drawing unprotected by glass. The tactility and closeness that make the work powerful are also its ultimate destructors. ("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.