1971, printed 2005
Gelatin silver print
Image: 39.1 x 29.8 cm (15 3/8 x 11 3/4 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Whitehill Art Purchase Endowment Fund 2022.247
Bell-bottomed pants are called “pattes d’éléphant” or “elephant paws” in French.
Portrait of Three Young Boys is a study in fashion and facade. The boys sport fashionably wide trousers, which were the latest trend in Mali in 1971, and wild plaid and windowpane check fabrics. Their stances echo the poses they had seen on movie posters and in fashion and music magazines: legs apart, chests forward, expressions fierce. They are poseurs, hoping to impress with their masculinity and stylishness.
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