In 1978 Clemente began a series of large loosely rendered ink drawings of himself, usually nude, together with one other strangely juxtaposed element. He drew himself without the use of a photograph or mirror, and used paper the size of a wall in his apartment in Rome. In this drawing the kneeling artist, with his arm outstretched, stares out toward the viewer. The only other element is the red robe near the centre of the canvas. Although self portraiture is a traditional artistic subject, Clemente explores it in a fresh way. He uses his body as a generic image of nakedness and the robe as the equivalent image of clothing. The two symbols make a proposition about the idea of being clothed or unclothed.
Gallery label, September 2004
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