These self-portraits of my T-shirts, apparel, and hats began as a simple effort to remove myself from nostalgic attachments. While preparing to leave our house of 35 years, I tried detaching myself from a large collection of T-shirts, hats, and other apparel, but was hampered by the possible loss of memories attached to each item. There are close to eighty-five self-portraits!
These shirts and hats contain stories and phases of my life. From events and experiences to politics, each item reflects values, traits and personality. Stitched into each shirt and hat is a lifetime. In these simple and unsophisticated portraits, I feel like an “everyman,” an archetype of people everywhere.
Universally, clothes identify people. Yet, today, the T-shirt goes further - to state, to present, to project, at times whimsically or seriously. We wear our politics and religion, either challenging or welcoming others. We are surprised, shocked or curious by people's choices.
I ask viewers to ponder their T-shirts and hats. Why has the T-shirt and hat taken on such universal dimensions? Why are we pronouncing and projecting? Why do we directly communicate and advertise our egos and embrace our idols and causes?
Each of us creates our identity, in part, through the clothes, T-shirts, and hats we wear. “The Identity Project” is my self-reflection.
The opening and installation images are from my solo Solo Show at Firecat Projects, Chicago, from August 30 through September 20, 2019.