In "Self-Portrait at Nine Years Old (James Brown)," Ligon addresses the issues with identity he struggled with in his youth. The artist has identified the work as a self-portrait, however, it is an actually a portrait of the "Godfather of Soul," James Brown. Ligon writes, "Remember when you loved a pop star so much that you wanted to look like them, sing like them, be like them? That’s what [these] self portraits are about."
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