About this artwork
Having been employed as a department-store janitor during his freshman year of college, Charles Ray understands the unease a mannequin can inspire—an inanimate object that one might readily mistake for a live body. His work is also charged with the purely sculptural tensions that exist between surface and interior, armature and appendage, and or size and scale. With Boy, Ray created a particularly disquieting figure. The sculpture stands just shy of six feet tall, the artist’s exact height, yet maintains the softness of youth in its rounded cheeks and limbs. The boy is clad in outdated garments, hovering “between baby and Hitler
youth,” in the words of one critic. Additionally, the boy’s pose and gesture suggest a confrontational manner at odds with his neutral face.
- Charles Ray
- United States (Object made in)
- Painted fiberglass, steel, and fabric; from an edition of three
- 181.6 × 68.6 × 86.4 cm (71 1/2 × 27 × 34 in.)
- Gift of Edlis Neeson Collection