For American Hero #4, Hayden pointedly exploits and clashes vernacular forms, visually reinterpreting and reimagining potentially contradictory notions of culture. Contemporary African-American identity, represented by two stripes of cornrowed hair, is placed squarely within a symbol of classic Americana, a Ford Mustang muscle car. The appropriation, though odd and humorous at first glance, expresses the artist’s hopes for a fresh unprocessed context for understanding and interpreting contemporary and historic cultures.

Special Thanks: Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting