Bo, from the series Being and Having, 1991
17 x 22 inches
Museum purchase with funds provided through prior gift of Lois Outerbridge
Cathie Opie gained international attention in the 1990s for her largeformat portraits of her friends within Los Angeles's leather community: transvestites, female-to-male transsexuals, drag queens, body manipulators, and others who have pioneered the body as a site of sexual and aesthetic experimentation. As part of this series, Opie created a number of self-portraits, such as Bo. One of several Opie alter egos, Bo is a butch, mustachioed, tattooed truck driver. In a playful twist on self-constructed identity, this picture recalls the earlier work of Marcel Duchamp, the French artist who explored his feminine side in works such as Rrose Selavy (1920-21) and L.H.O.O.Q. (1919), his infamous portrait of the Mona Lisa with mustache and goatee.