Untitled (Self-Portrait)



Ralph Gibson, American, b. 1939


Untitled (Self-Portrait)






Silver gelatin print
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm)

Object Number



Gibson grew up in Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s where his father worked as an assistant director to Alfred Hitchcock and where Gibson himself frequently worked as a child actor. The mark of this early experience can be seen in the high-contrast, grainy quality of his photographs. Other formal devices that contribute an air of mystery to his pictures are the intimate close-up, the tight focus on a fragmentary detail, the play of positive and negative space, and his use of deep black shadow. His photographs are more surreal dreamscapes than documents of reality. Gibson has summarized his aesthetic as a desire to make photographs that are "not boring."
Reverse bottom in pencil

Credit Line

Gift of the Kuniansky Family Collection


MCCM Newsletter, March - May 2002.


© Ralph Gibson. Photo courtesy of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2006.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



Ralph Gibson, American, b. 1939, “Untitled (Self-Portrait),” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 18, 2020, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7669.

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