Legendary artist Henry Taylor's first major monograph chronicles his life and work--the "visual equivalent of the blues."
This definitive survey of over 200 of the painter's portraits and street scenes forms a personal and political portrait of society today. For three decades the iconic artist has worked his way through New York, Los Angeles, Europe, and Africa, documenting what he sees. In his circle are artists, musicians, writers, performers, as well as friends from his ten years as a psychiatric technician. It is the artist's empathetic eye that allows him to imagine his figures with authenticity and grace--not better than they are, or more glamorous--but part of a big, complicated world. Flat, brushy flows of color cast figures that often float in surreal landscapes abstracted from the barbeque in the park, or neighboring street.
Suites of Taylor's paintings are reproduced alongside handwritten accounts of the sittings, offering an in-depth understanding of the artist's world. Contributions by Charles Gaines, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Sarah Lewis, and Zadie Smith touch on the nature of truth, racial terror; memory and belonging in America. This definitive monograph celebrates Taylor's direct and revealing portraits, offering a tonic to a divisive cultural moment.