Detail View

Oh say can you see?
Date: 1970
Culture: African-American
Dimensions: image: 59 x 38 in. (149.9 x 96.5 cm) framed: 5 ft. 5 1/4 in. x 43 5/8 in. x 1 1/2 in. (165.7 x 110.8 x 3.8 cm)
Medium: graphite and pastel on paper
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald S. Gilmore
Label Text: A woman with her hair piled high on her head confronts the viewer with large, piercing eyes under arched brows. Pursing her lips, she looks out at us over her left shoulder, her left hand resting on her hip. This woman exudes attitude, from the top of her puffy hairdo to the tips of her high heels. The artist heightens this feeling with an off-center composition, capturing the figure just as she turns towards us. The subtle touches of pink at her lips, cheeks and nails as well as the star beauty mark on her left cheek are all delightful details that enhance this whimsical and exaggerated portrait. Oh Say Can You See? is one of six large scale drawings in which the artist explored various stereotypes. He asks the viewer to reevaluate their own perceptions about African-Americans and to look beyond the surface. Carter grew up in Louisville, KY and along with artists Sam Gilliam and Ed Hamilton was among the first blacks to receive advanced degrees from the University of Louisville. His work is primarily figurative, exploring symbolic references and relationships. He likens himself to a casting director-always looking for the right image or look to convey his thoughts. In addition to teaching for the State University of New York, Carter continues to paint and work with mixed media but drawing has always been the core of his art.
Object Number: 1971/2.36
Currently not on view