Self says, “Curl is a portrait of a young woman in the midst of realization and contemplation. These realities present themselves as both enlightening and confusing. The combination of these conflicting feelings creates a spiraling effect which is depicted in the pictorial ground.” As the edition progresses, the portrait too will move circularly in space, adding to work’s disorientation. The artist creates this effect by folding the printing plate during the printing process. She also adds paint and pastel pigments to the print, creating further depth through marks and areas of more saturated color. Curl features characteristics typical of Self’s work in other media, including painting, which she is best known for: combinations of patterns and textures are combined with pre-existing shapes that are repeated in various works. The vibrant palette is also a signature characteristic of Self’s work, which always centers on representations of the black female body in contemporary America.
– Kathy Battista