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Falling Man

Rashid Johnson (American, born 1977). Falling Man, 2015. Mirrored tile, white ceramic tile, spray enamel, vinyl, black soap, and wax, 96 5/8 x 72 7/8 x 1 7/8 inches (245.4 x 185.1 x 4.8 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2016 (2016:31). © 2015 Rashid Johnson

© 2015 Rashid Johnson

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Rashid Johnson

American, born 1977

Falling Man, 2015

mirrored tile, white ceramic tile, spray enamel, vinyl, black soap, and wax

overall: 96 5/8 x 72 7/8 x 1 7/8 inches (245.43 x 185.1 x 4.76 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2016

2016:31

Currently On View

More Details

Inscriptions

signature / back, center

Provenance

the artist;
sold through Hauser & Wirth Gallery, New York, to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, December 13, 2016

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Rashid Johnson addresses themes of identity, anxiety, and escape across various mediums. In each of the assemblages in the artist’s Falling Man series, including this work, the shape of an upside-down man appears in ceramic or mirrored tiles. In form, they recall the pixilated characters from vintage video games falling into the void after virtually “dying” or failing to complete a level, or the chalk outlines of real-world bodies left at crime scenes. In this work, the figure is surrounded by tiles marred by spider-web cracks that suggest bullet holes as well as abstract splatters of black soap and spray paint, all alluding to the aftermath of a violent event.

Johnson often includes autobiographical references in much of his work. Falling Man, for example, includes a star-shaped cutout that frames a photograph of Johnson’s father taken around the time of the artist’s birth. The collection of books and a radio that can be seen in the background of the photograph are frequently recurring objects for the artist and appear in several of his sculptural and installation works.

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