Tom Gregg

Albert, 1997

Tom Gregg (American, born 1960), Albert, 1997, oil on panel, 38 x 21 1/2 in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 2000.10.

"Albert utilizes three distinct modes of visual language and plays with our expectations of these as representations of the real. The arrangement of oranges is painted in a traditional, realistic manner. The image of Albert is from a high school yearbook, specific in that it records a unique identity at a precise moment. Interfering with our reading of this anonymous high school senior is Donald Duck. Donald functions in almost the reverse manner as Albert—he is shown to us with a few well-practiced graphic lines, yet his image and personality are recognized almost universally. In a sense, Albert is a stand-in for us, and Donald, despite his comic innocence, is a representative of one of the world's most widespread corporate powers."—Tom Gregg