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Lee Jaffe, b.1950

Strange Fruit1985

Using an extraordinary range of materials and sources, Jaffe intends to provoke debate on racial, colonial and philosophical issues in his work. ‘Strange Fruit’, inspired by the Billie Holiday song, incorporates a photograph of the mob-lynching of two black men in the American South, painted on to the decaying wall of a shanty dwelling. The distorting mirrors, and two-dollar bills plastered onto the work, draw attention to the hatred and suffering caused by human greed and prejudice.

MediumOil encaustic, US.$2 bills, metal powders, distorted mirrors, wood, corrugated metal
Dimensions258 x 440 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donation, Mr George Shiffrin, 1995
Item NumberIMMA.465
Not on view
Image Caption
Lee Jaffe, Strange Fruit, 1985, Oil encaustic, US.$2 bills, metal powders, distorted mirrors, wood, corrugated metal, 258 x 440 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donation, Mr George Shiffrin, 1995

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About the Artist

Lee Jaffe b.1950

American artist, photographer, filmmaker, musician, and producer Lee Jaffe studied American history and literature, history of art and modern philosophy at Penn State University. He played music with various New York groups, and then moved to Brazil where he began to make experimental films. When he returned to New York in 1971, he continued to make films. He moved to Jamaica in 1972 to manage Bob Marley and the Wailers. He took up painting in the 1980s. Jaffe’s artistic practice is marked by his commitment to social change, particularly in the denunciation of racism in relation to African-Americans. He has exhibited worldwide.
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