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Dawoud Bey

Hillary and Taro

On view
Floor 8



Two dye diffusion transfer prints (Polaroids)

Overall (Sight): 30 1/8 × 44in. (76.5 × 111.8 cm) Frame (each): 31 × 23 × 2in. (78.7 × 58.4 × 5.1 cm) Overall (framed): 31 × 46 × 2in. (78.7 × 116.8 × 5.1 cm)

Accession number


Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee

Rights and reproductions
© Dawoud Bey

In 1991, Dawoud Bey began shooting large-scale color photographs in his studio, using a 20 x 24 inch Polaroid camera. During each session, Bey took several photographs of his subjects, moving the camera vertically or sideways and later positioning the resulting pictures to create multi-paneled works measuring four to five feet in height. While participating in a 1992 artist residency at the Addison Gallery of Art in Andover, Massachusetts, Bey worked with students—including Hillary and Taro, pictured in this portrait diptych—from nearby Lawrence High School. In addition to photographing the students, Bey led discussions and writing projects about the role of images in their community and issues concerning the ways that teenagers are often portrayed. In Hillary and Taro—as in all of his portraitsBey gave minimal guidance to his subjects on how to pose: “In photographing them,” he remarked, “I’m not passing judgment, just allowing them an arena to describe themselves to me and by extension, to the viewer. . . .I just try to let them find a private space within this very public act of being photographed.”  



A 30-second online art project:
LaTurbo Avedon, Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror

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