All too often images of black people are linked with some sort of historical trauma, relating to the horrors of slavery and colonialism. In the media, negative associations with blackness are frequent; they encompass poverty, violent crime, and drug use. In contrast with these subtle forms of racial stereotype, Chicago-based artist Kerry James Marshall is committed to create positive images of black people. In doing so, he also addresses what he calls a ‘crisis of under-representation’: the fact that pictures with black figures are virtually absent from the major galleries and museums of the world.
‘Satisfied Man’ is a new woodcut print, first presented at the EAB Fair of New York in November 2015. This unique work is an extension of the powerful, joyful paintings shown at Marshall’s first exhibition at David Zwirner, Look See (London, 2014). The artist used two different layers of heavy ink in order to add a distinctive tactile dimension to the print’s surface. The image represents a happy, fulfilled person, and was uniquely created by Marshall for this print. As the artist explains: ‘it has become clear to me that few images circulate in art of self-satisfied Black subjects. No trauma, no anxiety, not stoic, not an image of dignity, just satisfied.’
Sheet: 71 cm x 56 cm
Image: 61 cm x 46 cm
Edition of 15 + 3AP