This article considers the role of self-portraiture within the work of British artist Donald Rodney (1961–98). The text investigates the ways in which Rodney used the self-portrait, not to visualize himself, but to animate issues associated with the dominant framings of black men as delinquent, sexually deviant, and a menace to society. The work of Rasheed Araeen is discussed, with particular relevance to his influential use of self-portraiture. The author also discusses mainstream media’s construction of the black male deviant with respect to aspects of the newspaper coverage of the “rioting” that took place in Rodney’s home town, Birmingham, in the mid-1980s.

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