Painting titled "This is Ours—AJ By Michael Vasquez"

This is Ours—AJ / By Michael Vasquez / Acrylic on canvas, 2011 / Blair and Arthur Rice / © Michael Vasquez

Portraiture Now: Staging the Self

Traveling June 10, 2015 - March 27, 2016

The National Portrait Gallery presents the ninth installation of “Portraiture Now,” a series of exhibitions that showcase some of the most creative twenty-first-century portrait artists.

“Portraiture Now: Staging the Self” features the work of six contemporary U.S. Latino artists—David Antonio Cruz, Carlee Fernandez, María Martínez-Cañas, Rachelle Mozman, Karen Miranda Rivadeneira, and Michael Vasquez—who present identities theatrically, in order to rid portraiture of its reassuring tradition that fixes a person in space and time.

These artists use their work to focus on personal or family issues, telling stories that they have remembered or imagined from their past, manipulating images of themselves or superimposing portraits of their loved ones on their own. Like actors searching for a character, they are looking both for their unique identity traits and for shared traits. In the process, portraiture loses its feeling of certainty and instead becomes a map for finding oneself and others.

View the exhibition online


Traveling Dates

Americas Society, New York City
June 10, 2015 through October 18, 2015

National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
November 6, 2015 through March 27, 2016.

The Artists In Their Own Words

Artist David Antonio Cruz in "Staging the Self"

Artist María Martínez-Cañas in "Staging the Self"

Artist Karen Miranda Rivadeneira in "Staging the Self"

Artist Carlee Fernandez in "Staging the Self"

Artist Rachelle Mozman in "Staging the Self"

Artist Michael Vasquez in "Staging the Self"

  • Hallway view of the exhibition, Portraiture Now: Staging the Self

    View of "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self." Photo by Mark Gulezian. 

  • Gallery view of the exhibition, Portraiture Now: Staging the Self

    View of "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self." Photo by Mark Gulezian. 

  • Gallery view of the exhibition, Portraiture Now: Staging the Self

    View of "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self." Photo by Mark Gulezian. 

  • Hallway view of the exhibition, Portraiture Now: Staging the Self

    View of "Portraiture Now: Staging the Self." Photo by Mark Gulezian.