APB's (Afro-Parisian Brothers) Artist: Barkley L. Hendricks (American, 1945–2017, B.F.A./M.F.A. 1972)


Modern and Contemporary Art

On view, 3rd floor, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design

From the exhibition Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery:

APB’s was composed from a photograph that Barkley Hendricks took in Paris in the 1970s. With their sartorial precision and provocative slickness, the modern dandies in the portrait embody the cosmopolitan coolness of seventies’ black culture. The catchphrase “Black is Beautiful” resounds in their suave tailoring, natural hairstyles, and defiant stance, a self-awareness that plays up on histories of cultural nationalism, political activism, and a Pan-African consciousness associated with the era. While creating a sense of flatness through the monochromatic backdrop, Hendricks also evokes a psychological intensity—a sense of depth—in the surfeit of detail of these men’s spectacular self-fashioning. Read in light of the work’s title, which includes its own shorthand, these brothers—Hendricks included—assert a diasporic consciousness that also questions what black identity could be globally.


Oil and acrylic on linen


72 × 50 in. (182.88 × 127 cm)

Credit Line

Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

  • American Art: Selections from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2023), 264–64, no. 131, ill
  • Huey Copeland, "Figures and Grounds," Artforum (April 2009), 148, ill
  • Trevor Schoonmaker, Birth of the Cool: Barkley L. Hendricks, exh. cat. (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2008), p. 62, no. 36, ill
  • "Acquisitions, July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2006), 164, 203, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

human figures (visual works)


UR: B. Hendricks

Technical metadata and APIs


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