Ted Pontiflet was born in Oakland, California and spent years living in New York City and Africa. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture.
This print is part of Pontiflet’s James Baldwin Series honoring the Harlem-born playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, and activist. In this photograph, Pontiflet creates a montage effect by blending the image of James Baldwin with images of restaurant signs, cars, sneakers, and people walking along Harlem streets. Through a compelling use of color, Baldwin is enshrined within a golden, warm hue in the center of the image while the cool tones of Harlem dance around in the background. Together, the components of color and composition in Pontiflet’s work pays tribute to Baldwin’s legacy and the city that impacted him.
Title: James Baldwin with Harlem Background
Artist: Ted Pontiflet (b. 1932)
Medium: color photograph
Dimensions: 16 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches
Accession Number: H77.57
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