John D. Schiff (1907–1976)
Gelatin silver print, 1968
In this photograph, which was taken in the same year that Duchamp died, John D. Schiff draws on the iconic elements of Duchamp’s self-representation: the profile portrait, the reflection or ephemeral image, and the ever-present cigar.
Schiff uses the triple exposure technique to emphasize both the multiple layers of Duchamp’s artistic dialogue and complex personae. By weaving together a horizontally aligned profile portrait with two vertically aligned portraits, Schiff brings together different modes of Duchamp’s representation. As a result, he creates a portrait of Duchamp not as an artist, but as a legend.
Listen to co-curator James McManus discuss this image: