Portrait of a man in a white suit wearing a colorful cap and glasses against a white background.

Barkley L. Hendricks (American, 1945–2017)
Slick, 1977
Magna, acrylic, and oil on canvas
67 × 48 1/2 in. (170.2 × 123.2 cm)
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Gift of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York
© Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


Regarding self-portraiture, Hendricks wrote: “‘Since you are always around’ was one of the descriptions I heard to define self-portraiture. I was not fascinated with myself as much as Rembrandt or depressed to the extent of Van Gogh.” (Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait is in the Frick's collection.) Hendricks based the title of this self-portrait on his sister telling him, “You think you're so slick, just wait, one day a woman is going to straighten you out.” The composition is enhanced by the colors of his cap, which, according to the artist, is from an African design and probably of Muslim origin. The leg-shaped pendant, recounted Hendricks, was made in Mexico and was a gift from a lady friend; it had no significance other than being the right shape to fit in the V of his coat.

  536 — Speaker: Elisabeth Sann
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