Invisible Man (after Ralph Ellison) by Tim Rollins and KOS
On the history of the Invisible Man series, Tim Rollins says: "We were suffering from the murder of our favorite kid, Christopher Hernandez, who was shot at the age of 14. He was an innocent bystander in a murder that killed six people, and he saw the murder. Our minds were blown. And we were looking at one of the newspaper articles about the massacre—this was in 1993—and George, his best friend, who ended up going to Bard, saw this big article in the New York Post with the tabloid headline 'MURDER VICTIM,' and what he did was cut out the 'IM' from 'VICTIM.' That's why it has a very graphic quality—it looks like a tabloid. So it was really about taking that notion of being a victim and applying it to Ralph Ellison's great novel Invisible Man, which we had been trying to work on for years. And it related to a great placard that the Memphis sanitation workers held after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and that Ernest Withers captured in his famous photograph that says 'I AM A MAN.' Then, of course, the different color blues come from each participant who chooses their own color, so it's a self-portrait in blue. It's pretty beautiful. The first Invisible Man painting was 12-feet-by-12-feet, and we showed it in 2000 at Baumgartner Gallery in Manhattan. That's how that happened. One of them is now in the collection of the Memphis Museum of Art, and that's pretty powerful because that's where King was assassinated."