line




Mom and Dad

Steve DeFrank

New York City, New York

Hand-dyed Lite-Brite pegs in light box, 2005

60 in. (152.4 cm) height

Collection of the artist, courtesy Clementine Gallery

Artist Statement:
Parents can be the most embarrassing people on the planet when you’re ten. Just imagine how mortifying it would be if they were naked for the whole world to see? I did just that. It was sweet revenge for all the uncomfortable moments I had endured. Something happened while making the piece. I realized that I was the same age as my parents were in the picture. How would I do as a parent with nine children? I can barely take care of myself. I thought, hey, my parents are real people with flaws just like me. So they’re not superhuman after all. They’re real people with tan lines and bad hair. What started out as a smart-alecky work ended with a greater understanding of my parents. For all their flaws and imperfections I love them even more today.


privacy | copyright | smithsonian institution | image credits | media room