Initiate

Copied Donté K. Hayes, Initiate, 2020, ceramic, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund, 2021.5, © 2020, Mindy Solomon Representative for Donté Hayes

Artwork Details

Title
Initiate
Date
2020
Dimensions
overall_​1: 19 18 × 16 58 × 17 14 in. (48.6 × 42.2 × 43.8 cm)
Copyright
© 2020, Mindy Solomon Representative for Donté Hayes
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund
Mediums
Mediums Description
ceramic
Classifications
Keywords
  • Allegory
Object Number
2021.5

Artwork Description

With a needle tool, Donté Hayes meticulously scratched the surface of this clay sculpture to emulate the exterior texture of a pineapple. Today, the pineapple is recognized as a symbol of hospitality, appearing on door knockers and other household decor. Hayes’s experience as a Black man in inhospitable spaces led him to study the history of the prickly fruit. As he learned, pineapples were luxury commodities in the colonial era, intertwined with the brutality of the Caribbean fruit plantations that relied on the enslaved labor of Africans.

“The artwork I create suggests the past, discusses the present, and explores future’s interconnectedness to the African Diaspora, while examining deeper social issues that broaden the conversation between all of humanity.” —Donté K. Hayes

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022