Carrie Mae Weems (born 1953) is another African American artist who uses photography and self-portraiture to reclaim power in the context of the female nude. In the five-part series Not Manet’s Type (2001), Weems produces nude self-portraits accompanied by text that pokes fun at the exclusion of black women from the history of art. Here, the text reads, “It was clear, I was not Manet’s type. Picasso—who had a way with women—only used me and Duchamp never even considered me.” This is a direct response to the use, by male artists, of women’s bodies as well as the systematic exclusion of black women from that visual history. Weems writes about her body of work as a whole, “I was trying to respond to a number of issues: women’s subjectivity, women’s capacity to revel in her body, and woman’s construction of herself, and her own image.

Carrie Mae Weems, American, born 1953
Not Manet’s Type, 2001
Offset photolithograph on paper
Sheet: 40 1/8 x 20 in. Image: 17 x 17 in.
Purchased through the Olivia H. Parker and John O. Parker ’58 Acquisition Fund; PR.2002.17.1
© Carrie Mae Weems