Isaiah Zagar created this self-portrait in 1986. As with his mosaics, he decorated this energetic print with vibrant colors and lively patterns. Turquoise and green horizontal stripes, layered with red flowers and leaves, create a playful background. Bold red lines follow the contours of his bright yellow hair, eyes, nose, mouth, and beard. Look closely to find people, leaves, branches, flowers, hands, and even a coffee cup embedded within the picture. Zagar also included stamp-like text, such as "Art is the center of the real world" and "Philadelphia is the center of the art world," convictions that he has stated in his work for decades. These colors, patterns, images, and ideas become a part of Zagar's face, hinting about the artist's thoughts on identity and how he sees himself.
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Mosaic artist and muralist Isaiah Zagar was born in Philadelphia. He earned a BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.
Zagar has had solo exhibitions at the Hinckley Pottery Gallery, Washington, DC; Kornblee Gallery, New York City; and ...