Subject: Contemporary Portraiture / The Cartin Collection @ Lyman Allyn Museum May 14 - August 14, 2006 Subject: Contemporary Portraiture / The Cartin Collection @ Lyman Allyn Museum May 14 - August 14, 2006 Subject: Contemporary Portraiture / The Cartin Collection @ Lyman Allyn Museum May 14 - August 14, 2006 Subject: Contemporary Portraiture / The Cartin Collection @ Lyman Allyn Museum May 14 - August 14, 2006
Hiroshi Sugimoto
(Tokyo, Japan, 1948- )
Lives and works in New York City

This portrait of Yasser Arafat is part of a project that featured monumental photographs of celebrities and historical figures, but they are portraits that don’t reveal their subject as directly as it might first seem. Clearly, this is a photograph that depicts Arafat, but it is not immediately clear whether this is a photograph taken directly of Arafat, or a photograph of a painting. In fact, this image is a photograph of Arafat's figure at Madame Tussaud's wax museum. The wax figure was, in turn, made from a previous photograph. In his portrait, Sugimoto has managed to make Arafat look more real than he did in the photo the statue was based on. This layering of sources, a photograph of a wax figure made from a photograph makes this work a portrait of a portrait of a portrait. It is interesting to note that Arafat was, himself, made largely from a layering of images and artifice: he was a statesman without a sovereign state, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who carried a pistol. Arafat's power was largely based on artifice and ambiguity, whose sources of political legitimacy were just as nebulous and multi-layered as the sources of this portrait.
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Yasser Arafat Yasser Arafat
1999

Black & white photograph
58 11/16 x 47 7/8 in.
Exhibition Info
Installation Views
The Cartin Collection

Philip Akkerman
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Robert Beck
Stanley Brouwn
Thomas Chimes
Joe Coleman
Benjamin Cottam
R Crumb
Spencer Finch
Tony Fitzpatrick
Tom Friedman
Gregory Gillespie
Mark Greenwold
David Hammons
Paul Laffoley
Glenn Ligon
Robert Lostutter
Margherita Manzelli
Marlene McCarty
Sean Mellyn
Sam Messer
Evan Penny
Charles Ritchie
Harry Roseman
Matt Saunders
Jenny Scobel
Sandra Scolnik
Malick Sidibé
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Jim Torok
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein
Magnus Von Plessen
John Waters
Martin Wilner