Rashid Johnson (American, b. 1977)
MediumPrint with Van Dyke brown ink
DimensionsSheet : 30 x 22 1/2 in. (76.2 x 57.15 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelIn the late 1990s, artist Glenn Ligon and curator Thelma Golden coined the term “post-black art” to describe the work of younger African American artists that is rooted in their Black identities but is not defined by those identities. Post-black art is intersectional art that often addresses a wide range of issues beyond race, including class, gender, sexuality and cultural history. The maker of this print, Rashid Johnson, was included in the first-ever exhibition of post-black art held at Harlem’s Studio Museum in 2001. The print is based on a photograph Johnson took while he was an undergraduate student at Columbia College in Chicago. The photograph belonged to a larger series of portraits of homeless people that Johnson created to explore social and economic inequality in contemporary America. The print was created using the Van Dyke brown process, in which ultraviolet light is used to expose a large-format negative on specially prepared paper. The Van Dyke printing process was invented in the 19th century, and is named after a brown oil paint associated with the 17th century Flemish painter Sir Anthony Van Dyke.