Barkley L. Hendricks: Lawdy Mama

Barkley Hendrick's Lawdy Mama embodies the "black is beautiful" mantra by conferring the awe and reverence once accorded Christian altarpieces on the figure of a beautiful woman crowned with a large, halo-like Afro. Inspired by gilded Greek and Russian icons as well as Renaissance altarpieces he encountered during a 1966 trip to Europe, Hendricks applied metallic gold leaf to a shaped canvas, effectively enshrining his subject.