The Easel

Archives: Whitney Museum of American Art

23rd February 2021

The self as cipher: Salman Toor’s narrative paintings

New artists like Toor can struggle for recognition if (older) critics can’t describe a context for their work. This essay is a good example of how it can be done. The rise of “autobiography and memoir [in art] has likely been encouraged by social media. The “self” is formed through social constructs of gender, sexuality, and race. Being perceived by someone can be both liberating—to see an idea of you through someone else—but also really narrowing and debilitating.”