Gray’s Anatomy IV (Gray’s Biinjiwiiyaw IV) and This is My Desire (Mii O’o Nimisawendaan)

Two large canvas paintings are hung on a dark green wall. They're too far away to see details, but they each depict a middle-aged Black man. In one, he has text bubbles all around his body. In the other, he appears to be standing in a waterfall.

Gray’s Anatomy IV and This is My Desire by Senghor Reid, 2022

Acrylic on canvas and This is My Desire, 2022, oil on canvas. Courtesy the artist © Senghor Reid and M Contemporary Art Installation photography by Charlie Edwards, courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Art

About the Art

Senghor Reid
Gichimookomaanakiing, 1976 gaa-ondaadizi

Namanji-ayi’iing ako Debani-ayi’iing
Gray’s Biinjiwiiyaw IV
Gaaskiiginowaaboo ningaasimooniigining

Mii O’o Nimisawendaan
Zhizhoobii’iganaaboo ningaasimooniigining

Nimiigwechiwenimaanaan Gaazheninjiged miinawaa M Oshki Giizheninjigewinan

Senghor Reid ogii-mazinibii’idizo niizhing ge naagadawaabandang ezhi-giizhinenjigaadeg gaye ganawenjigaadeg nibi akiing. Grey’s Biinjiwiiyaw IV (namanji-ayi’iing) naagotaaniwang ezhi-gagwejiid. Maazinibii’igewin izhinaagwad Maamakaadendaagwag Waawiyekamig gaye Awenen Aawid maazinibii’igaadeg Naandagekenjigejig Wawiiyajimowinan Waawiyekamigong. Ge waabanda’aanan ezhi mashkawizid gaye niinamaadizid, Reid aapiji aawenang gichi-inendaagwag nibi aabajichigaadeg wii-mino-ayaayang gaye agoozoyang. Mii O’o Nimisawendaan (debani-ayi’iing) mookibii Reid izhi-gimiwanibiisaamagag giiwitaa-ayi’iing. Gichi-inendaagwadoon daso biisaag dash izhi-nisidawendaagwag onzikaag daso wiiyaw biisaag gaye. Ge Reid mamaajise gaye biigoshkang biisaag, daa-nisidawaabandamang ezhi-inishkamang nibi gaye daa-gichi-apiitendamang.

Senghor Reid
United States, b. 1976


Gray’s Anatomy IV
Acrylic on canvas

This is My Desire
Oil on canvas

Courtesy of the artist and M Contemporary Art

In these two self-portraits, Senghor Reid meditates on water as an elemental force that gives and sustains life. In Gray’s Anatomy IV (left), he closely examines his body’s abilities and traits. The painting’s format is borrowed from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and DC comic-style Who’s Who dossier pages detailing the origins and powers of various superheroes. As he catalogs his strengths and weaknesses, Reid emphasizes the importance of water consumption and mindfulness in maintaining one’s physical and emotional health. This is My Desire (right) presents an almost primordial scene of Reid emerging from an effervescent field of water droplets that float weightlessly around him. The droplets seem to make visible the body’s hidden molecular structure. Reid’s inquisitive movements disrupt and break up the droplets, suggesting our effect on water and responsibility to treat it with reverence.

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