b. 1960, New York, USA. Lives and works in New York, USA
Glenn Ligon's work encompasses painting, sculpture and writing and addresses issues of the self and public and private identity as well as constructions of race, gender and sexuality. For Ligon, painting is an arena for various voices – his own, the viewers' and those quoted – to be heard.
In 2000, Ligon asked a conservator friend to produce a condition report for his 1988 painting
Untitled (I Am a Man), annotating in minute detail the imperfections that have developed over time. The simple yet powerful phrase “I Am a Man" is a slogan taken from a sanitation worker strike in 1968, in which African-American workers protested against the inhumane treatment they were being subjected to. Condition Report (2000) highlights the ephemeral quality of both the struggle and the artwork, and exposes our obsessive desire to monitor the condition of the art object, and to 'protect' it against the inevitable process of ageing.