Mildred Howard
The Other Side of the Coin, 2014
Pigmented inkjet and acrylic on Awagami Japanese paper
30 x 22 in.
edition varié of 10

In her 2014 The Other Side of the Coin series of pigment prints, Mildred Howard reanimates the packaging of a box of Fairbank’s Gold Dust Washing Powder, an early 20th-century cleaning product. In place of the gold coins that decorated the original Gold Dust box, Howard has inserted Booker T. Washington half dollars and Sacajawea golden dollars. Likewise, in place of the racist caricatures of Dusty and Goldie – the “Gold Dust Twins” that graced packages and ads for Gold Dust products as early as 1892 – the artist herself appears in a grisaille self-portrait. Each print in this edition varied bears subtle differences: in four of the compositions, the artist’s back is strikingly turned as if in defiance, proudly displaying the texture of her dreadlocks and a shining golden earring.

-Nick Stone