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Daniel Martinez

American, b. 1957

I can’t imagine ever wanting to be white

Paint and enamel on metal
15.5 x 11.5 in. (39.37 x 29.21 cm)
Museum Purchase with Charter Member Endowment Funds

Daniel Martínez’s I can’t imagine ever wanting to be white is a conceptual and racially charged artwork using museum entry tags that were worn by museum visitors at the 1993 Whitney Biennial, an art exhibition held every other year featuring new American art at the Whitney Museum in New York City. At a time of growing political correctness, the contentious statement was perceived as insensitive. Today, the work is proving its significance as increasing tribalism splinters the American population along racial divides. Purposefully provocative, I can’t imagine...hyperactivates underlying social tension regarding race.

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