Barkley Leonnard Hendricks’s “Sir Charles, Alias Willie Harris” offers a tripled image, its single subject captured as if in a time-lapse. What do you notice in each of their expressions?
Whether with eyes closed meditatively (on the left) or gazing into space (on the right), “Sir Charles” is alternately thoughtful and vigilant. More than life-size, this imposing figure signals 1970s fashion, pop culture, and the assertion of black identity in the generation following the civil rights era. Stark and monumental against a monochromatic ground, Hendricks’s portraits capture the individuality and self-expression of his subjects. #blackhistorymonth
Barkley Leonnard Hendricks, “Sir Charles, Alias Willie Harris,” 1972, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, William C. Whitney Foundation