Race, Identity and Acceptance - the Making of In Walks, A. Man - New Work by Photographer/artist Frank Ishman

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Artist Frank Ishman’s new work, In Walks, A. Man, is a nonlinear visual narrative focusing on identity and race, encompassing both performance and visual mediums. The current body of work below is from Part Two, The Benevolent Order of Ephraim Longstocking.

Focussing on racial identity, the artist’s place in the world and, ultimately, sacrifice, the ten characters from The Benevolent Order of Ephraim Longstocking are comprised of qualities and passages from Agatha Christie's book, And Then There Were None (printed in England under the title Ten Little Niggers and stemming from the 1860s minstrel song “Ten Little Injuns” by Septimus Winner and later changed to Ten Little Niggers by Frank J. Green, which became the standard of the blackface minstrel shows). Through this work, Frank identified a trait in each of the ten characters to form his own mythical Lodge of Elders, which guided his adolescence and shaped him.

Ten little nigger boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self, and then there were nine.
Nine little nigger boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself, and then there were eight.
Eight little nigger boys traveling in Devon;
One said he'd stay there, and then there were seven.
Seven little nigger boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in half, and then there were six.
Six little nigger boys playing with a hive;
A bumble-bee stung one, and then there were five.
Five little nigger boys going in for law;
One got in chancery, and then there were four.
Four little nigger boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one, and then there were three.
Three little nigger boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one, and then there were two.
Two little nigger boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up, and then there was one.
One little nigger boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

Comprised of ten self-portraits, these images are not meant to be beautiful or comforting, but rather to show what made Frank the man he is today. The unifying theme of white face deals directly with his mother’s influence and her need to “be white” in order to feel accepted.

The ten self-portraits are 40x50 in size, painted and waxed three times to produce an aged Masonic Lodge feel. Please view the artist's 3D gallery on http://www.inwalksaman.com.

Frank’s fine art work falls into two categories, traditional and narrative. His traditional works are observations of his travels and his understanding of the world around him. His narrative works convey a message abstract in thought and involve multiple disciplines. Although Frank’s work begins with the camera it doesn’t always end within a frame. He is currently seeking gallery representation and the opportunity to share all finished works and studies with interested parties.

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Frank Ishman

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Frank Ishman
since: 06/2009
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Frank Ishman
since: 07/2014
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