On view at the Jones Center on Congress Avenue as part of the exhibition Deborah Roberts: I'm
Little man, little man, by Deborah Roberts (American, born 1962 in Austin, Texas), features collaged images of a young Black boy in various gestures of action and celebration, printed onto weather-resistant vinyl and installed as an outdoor public artwork. Roberts assembles her unique images from fragments of found materials—such as photographs, literature, magazines, and the Internet—combined with hand-painted details, rendering compositions that condemn the perils of American racism on the most vulnerable members of our population while envisioning hopeful futures. The artist titled this work after author and civil rights activist James Baldwin’s Little Man, Little Man, 1976, a children’s book articulating the joys and struggles of Black childhood through the adventures of a four-year-old boy in Harlem, New York. As Roberts noted, “I wanted these collage works to demonstrate the emotional, celebratory energy of this young child as he tries to make his way into adulthood without being targeted or criminalized.”
Representing both Roberts’s and The Contemporary Austin’s first outdoor mural, this work is part of the artist’s exhibition, I’m, on view January 23 through August 15, 2021. I'm is part of The Contemporary Austin's participation in the Feminist Art Coalition, a nationwide initiative of art institutions to generate awareness of feminist thought, experience, and action through exhibitions and events.