The Portraits

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Michael Phelps

Rick Chapman, born 1966
Michael Phelps, born 30 Jun 1985
Selenium-toned gelatin silver print
Image/Sheet: 35.6 × 35.6 cm (14 × 14")
Mount: 54 × 50.8 cm (21 1/4 × 20")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the artist and ESPN
Restrictions & Rights
©2007 Rick Chapman
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Towson, Maryland
Swimming is rarely in the American public eye except during the Olympic games, and Michael Phelps has become a household name because of his incredible domination of the sport across three Olympiads. At the Beijing Olympics (2008) he took home a staggering eight gold medals. His career total is eighteen gold medals, double the number of the next-highest winner. Although past his peak, Phelps still won four golds and two silvers in the 2012 London games, and he is aiming for a place in the pool in the 2016 games in Brazil. Phelps, even more than most athletes because he is nearly invisible in the water, is present to us in his record-breaking domination of the pool but remains a mysterious, elusive persona. His arrest and subsequent suspension from competition for a DUI in 2014 evidences that life on land may be more difficult for him to navigate than the lane of a swimming pool.
Michael Phelps nacido en 1985
Nacido en Towson, Maryland
La natación no suele estar en el ojo público norteamericano si no es durante las Olimpiadas, y es precisamente por su increíble dominio en tres juegos olímpicos que Michael Phelps se ha convertido en una figura popular. En las Olimpiadas de Pekín (2008), acaparó un asombroso saldo de ocho medallas de oro. En total, ha ganado dieciocho medallas de oro, el doble de quien le sigue en la lista de ganadores. Aunque ya no estaba en su plenitud, obtuvo cuatro medallas de oro y dos de plata en las Olimpiadas de 2012 en Londres, y aspira a volver al agua en las de 2016 en Brasil. Incluso más que otros atletas, porque en el agua es casi invisible, Phelps hace sentir su presencia con su dominio de la piscina, pero mantiene una imagen misteriosa, esquiva.
Rick Chapman (nacido en 1966)
Impresión en gelatina de plata virada al selenio, 2007
Donación del artista y ESPN
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
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