Janine Antoni
Lick and Lather, 1993-1994

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Lick and Lather
Artist name
Janine Antoni
Date created
two self-portrait busts: one chocolate and one soap
24 in. × 16 in. × 13 in. each (60.96 cm × 40.64 cm × 33.02 cm each)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein and John Caldwell Fund for Contemporary Art purchase (Curator of Painting and Sculpture, 1989–93)
© Janine Antoni
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Audio Stories

Antoni on her ephemeral self-portraits

Show TranscriptHide Transcript



Heres Janine Antoni on her sculpture Lick and Lather, two self-portrait busts–one made of chocolate, the other, soap.  



I started just thinking about what it would mean in this day and time to try to make a self-portrait. And I guess the first thing I thought of is this notion of immortalizing oneself in the sculpture. And I thought, Well, Im gonna work against the grain of that by working with these ephemeral materials. 


And then I guess the other answer I gave myself is really this notion of making an image, a public image, an image that you present to the world. So I thought to myself: Are we more ourselves at home, taking a bath or having a meal at night? And so I tried to use these everyday activities and these materials associated with them as a way of describing myself. 


So I started with really my likeness. And then I reshaped my image by licking the chocolate and washing the soap. I was struck by the licking and washing as these kind of very loving acts. But in the process of these loving acts, Im slowly erasing myself.  


Well, we dont usually lick sculpture or take it in the tub with us. But it would be interesting to me is, if you went home and looked at your bar of soap a little bit differently. That not only are you bathing your body with your soap, but that your— your body is sculpting that bar of soap at the same time. 

Read MoreCollapse

Other Works by Janine Antoni

Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to confirm it will be on view.

Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at copyright@sfmoma.org.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.