September 18, 2017
What is the function of a portrait? To memorialize? To capture someone’s “essence”? These questions run throughout the history of visual culture—from the Roman death masks of antiquity to the covers of fashion magazines. In his upcoming exhibition, “Innocence II,” opening at Gagosian San Francisco on September 21st, Roe Ethridge complicates the questions of portraiture, revealing how various layers of the self coalesce within a single image, whether an iPhone screenshot, a nude self-portrait, or a photograph of one’s childhood home. Using his own past as source material, Ethridge locates the intersection of recognition and estrangement, tracing the history of photography along the way.