Faith Ringgold Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery

Faith Ringgold Self-Portrait

Artist
Faith Ringgold, born 8 Oct 1930
Sitter
Faith Ringgold, born 8 Oct 1930
Exhibition Label
Faith Ringgold based her 1998 artist’s book, Seven Passages to a Flight on autobiographical memories drawn from her own Harlem childhood. Searching for a way to express the experiences of African American women, she started working in textiles in the 1970s. Her innovative story quilts draw inspiration from Tibetan "tankas," African piece work, and black American quilting traditions. Long an activist for racial and gender equality, Ringgold used flight here as a metaphor for overcoming the challenges that she had encountered. The bridge, which she could see from her tar-covered Harlem rooftop, symbolizes opportunity. "Anyone can fly," she writes in her children’s book, Tar Beach. "All you have to do is have somewhere to go that you can’t get to any other way." The imagery of flying, Ringgold has explained, "is about achieving a seemingly impossible goal with no more guarantee of success than an avowed commitment to do it."
Faith Ringgold basó su libro de artista Seven Passages to a Flight (1998) en recuerdos de su niñez en Harlem. Empezó a trabajar con textiles en los años setenta, buscando la forma de expresar sus vivencias como mujer afroamericana. Sus innovadoras "colchas narrativas" se inspiran en los tankas tibetanos, el arte africano y las tradiciones afroamericanas de colchas de retazos. Tenaz activista en pro de la igualdad racial y de género, Ringgold utilizó aquí el vuelo (flight) como metáfora del acto de vencer los obstáculos que se le presentaron. El puente que podía ver desde su azotea cubierta de brea en Harlem simboliza las oportunidades. "Cualquiera puede volar", escribe en su libro para niños Tar Beach. "Todo lo que hay que hacer es querer ir a un lugar adonde no puedes llegar de ninguna otra manera". La imagen del vuelo, explica Ringgold, "equivale a lograr una meta que parece imposible con ninguna otra garantía de éxito que el compromiso manifiesto de hacerlo".
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
1998
Object number
NPG.2004.25
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Faith Ringold / Artists Rights Society (ARS)
Type
Textile
Medium
Hand-painted etching & pochoir borders on linen with quilted cotton border and nylon backing
Dimensions
Quilt: 128.4 x 109.3cm (50 9/16 x 43 1/16")
National Portrait Gallery
Topic
Decorative Arts
Self-portrait
Faith Ringgold: Visual Arts\Artist
Faith Ringgold: Female
Faith Ringgold: Visual Arts\Artist\Sculptor
Faith Ringgold: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter
Portrait
Record ID
npg_NPG.2004.25
GUID (Link to Original Record)
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm470bf9075-e940-4303-b285-9644bd1007a8

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