Smithsonian Collections

Patti Smith Self-Portrait

Image for Patti Smith Self-Portrait
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Musician, writer, and artist Patti Smith is known for her paradigm-shifting creativity throughout her career. Fleeing suburban life for New York City in 1967, Smith wrote poetry and dabbled in photography and drawing before releasing her cutting-edge debut album Horses (1975), which fused her love of poetry with songwriting. Smith memorialized this time in her life in the memoir Just Kids, which won the National Book Award in 2010.
In this raw, edgy self-portrait drawn in 1974, Smith depicts herself in a colorful top, staring out at the viewer with a punk rock attitude. The inscription reads, “All the things he gave me,” referring to her relationship in the early 1970s with Blue Öyster Cult band member Allen Lanier. Smith describes the work with her characteristic emphatic prose and sensitivity: “The felt Berber hat. A tiny platinum tear-drop necklace. An ivory camel. . . . Though a mere sketch it was done with great care in recognition to the giver.”
La cantautora, escritora y artista visual Patti Smith es conocida por su creatividad que desafía los paradigmas. Huyendo de una vida acomodada, se fue a la ciudad de Nueva York en 1967, donde escribió poesía y probó la fotografía y el dibujo antes de lanzar su vanguardista álbum Horses (1975). Smith plasmó sus memorias de esta época de su vida en el libro Just Kids, que ganó el Premio Nacional del Libro de EE.UU. en 2010.
En este autorretrato crudo y provocador de 1974, Smith viste una camiseta colorida y mira fijamente al espectador con actitud de roquera punk. La inscripción dice: “Todas las cosas que él me dio”, refiriéndose a su relación a inicios de la década de 1970 con Allen Lanier, integrante de la banda Blue Öyster Cult. Smith describe la obra con la sensibilidad y la prosa enfática que la caracterizan: “El sombrero bereber de fieltro. Un collar con una diminuta lágrima de platino. Un camello de marfil… Aunque esto no sea más que un boceto, fue hecho con mucho cuidado en reconocimiento de quien me dio estas cosas”.
Artist
Patti Smith, born 30 Dec 1946
Sitter
Patti Smith, born 30 Dec 1946
Date
January 18, 1974
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; funded by The Abraham and Virginia Weiss Charitable Trust, Amy and Marc Meadows, in honor of Wendy Wick Reaves
Medium
Graphite pencil and colored pencil on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 32.1 × 24.5 cm (12 5/8 × 9 5/8")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6 cm (22 × 16")
Type
Drawing
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
NPG.2015.17
Topic
Costume\Headgear\Hat
Nature & Environment\Animal\Camel
Self-portrait
Patti Smith: Female
Patti Smith: Literature\Writer
Patti Smith: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer
Portrait
Restrictions & Rights
© 1974 Patti Smith