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Jheri Now, Curl Later

Mark Bradford

Contemporary Art

This early work by Mark Bradford references the artist’s upbringing around his mother’s beauty shop in south Los Angeles and his own background as a professional hairdresser. The title riffs on the Jheri curl—a popular Black hairstyle in the 1980s and 1990s—and reads like a piece of banter or an inside joke tossed around the tight-knit community of a Black hair salon. Bradford collaged and scorched end papers (thin rectangular sheets used to protect a client’s hair during a perm) to create this multilayered and immersive abstraction. The use of a material with deeply personal ties expands the artist’s visual play of shapes, colors, opacities, and text to include conversations around gender and race.
MEDIUM Mixed media on canvas
DATES 2001
DIMENSIONS 72 x 84 in. (182.9 x 213.4 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Contemporary Art Council and purchased with funds given by Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Kozinn
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Mark Bradford (American, born 1961). Jheri Now, Curl Later, 2001. Mixed media on canvas, 72 x 84 in. (182.9 x 213.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Contemporary Art Council and purchased with funds given by Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Kozinn, 2001.85. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2001.85_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2001.85_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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