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We went to the tailor together...

20th century
228.6 cm x 152.4 cm (90 in. x 60 in.)

Ken Aptekar (Detroit, Michigan, 1950 - ) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Oil on wood with sandblasted glass and bolts
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, 2012
Accession Number: 2012.45.1/6-6/6

After Bronzino (1503-1572), Portrait of a Young Man, and
Luis Eugenio Melendez (1716-1780), Portrait of the artist
holding a life study
We went to the tailor together. I had only dreamed of
Mr. Randazzo cutting me a suit out of glen plaid worsted, or
aquamarine shantung, like the ones he made my dad. No matter
that all I really wanted was a plain black three-button model with
side vents, cut from a lightweight wool that wouldn’t itch.
I knew that who I was would change more from wearing the suit
than from turning 13. That’s when you become a Man, they said. I
couldn’t wait to grow as tall as my brothers; I longed for the day
my face would look like it did when I sucked in my cheeks.
I lift the suit out of its zippered bag, slip into the luxurious fabric,
and rise to my feet in front of the assembled congregation. Stepping
up to the microphone, I aim the silver pointer in my trembling hand
at the words of the Torah. I take a breath. Now tall and handsome,
I am singing in my perfect suit.

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