Human Interest

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide highlights selected works in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection, with commentary by students from PS 33 Chelsea Prep and Whitney Museum educator Melanie Adsit.

Barkley Hendricks, Steve, 1976. Acrylic and oil on linen, 72 x 48 in. (182.9 x 121.9 cm). Purchase and gift with funds from the Arthur M. Bullowa Bequest by exchange, the Jack E. Chachkes Endowed Purchase Fund, and the Wilfred P. and Rose J. Cohen Purchase Fund 2015.101

Melanie Adsit: Take a close look at this character. What can you tell me about him?

Student: This is a successful person that probably used his wits and his intelligence to make his way through life.

Student: In his glasses, in case anybody didn't notice, the city is there. He's looking at the city.

Student: He looks like a calm person. He's always chill. He doesn't have anger issues. He just looks calm.

Melanie Adsit: This was painted by an artist named Barkley Hendricks, who would paint people that he saw in the city. He would just find people that he didn't know walking down the street, and make paintings of them. All that we know about him is that he's name was Steve, but he wasn't anyone that the artist knew. What do you think, about Steve, attracted the artist to him?

Student: I bet that the big attraction was the bold coloring of his fancy robe and pants, which might have made him a spotlight in everyone else's perspective.

Student: What attracted the artist to Steve was that he popped out of the crowd in the city. He wasn't like many other people.