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Creating an Autoportrait: Clifford Graham

Obscured beneath the simple words, numbers, shapes, and colors found in much of Robert Indiana’s work are essential memories and symbols of the artist’s life. Indiana’s visual vocabulary is encrypted with personal symbolism. This is particularly evident in his long series of Autoportraits.

To complement The Essential Robert Indiana, on view through May 4, the IMA invites visitors both on-site and online to Create Your Autoportrait using some of the same elements that Robert Indiana incorporates in to his. During the run of the exhibition, IMA staff members will be creating their own Autoportraits and blogging about it.

The fifth in this series features Clifford Graham III, the IMA’s Gallery Guide Security Supervisor.


Blue, green, and purple are my favorite colors, I LOVE the cool color palette. I used 2 and 11 to represent my birthday; and the 14 is for this year — NOW.

I am not spontaneous; I get too caught up in tomorrow to enjoy NOW. For 2014 I want to learn to enjoy the moment; because right NOW is all that any of us is sure of. I LOVE music! It is my way to unwind, let go, and relax. A melancholy melody, angelic harmonies, or a thumping bass line allows me the space to let everything go. LOVE is my spiritual gift; everyone needs it, and everyone wants it. I also used LOVE in my Autoportrait to pay homage to Robert Indiana.


About cgraham

Clifford has written 1 articles for us.