David Hammons, American born 1943.
Pray for America 1969
This is one from an extended series of "body prints" Hammons made by pressing his skin and clothing smeared with grease or margarine, against a board or a sheet of paper and then sprinkling the surface with graphite or pigment. A haunting image of the artist draped in the American flag, his hands joined in prayer. It was created just a year after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy and during a time of nationwide protests, race, riots and demonstrations against the Vietnam War. It speaks broadly to what Hammons described as his "moral obligation as a black artist to try to graphically document what I feel socially."