Spike Lee

image for Spike Lee
Exhibition Label
2017 Portrait of a Nation Prize Recipient
Born Atlanta, Georgia
Spike Lee is an innovative and provocative filmmaker with no qualms about confronting hot-button issues of race and class in his feature films and documentaries. In 1986, he scored an indie hit with his first full-length motion picture, She’s Gotta Have It. Written, directed, and produced by Lee (who also played one of its characters), the film was shot in under two weeks on a budget of $175,000 and earned more than $7 million at the box office. Having received wide critical acclaim since the 1980s for his original, pioneering work, Lee has since brought varied projects to the screen, including Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992), and Bamboozled (2000). His probing documentaries include 4 Little Girls (1997), an examination of the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, and When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006), a study of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on New Orleans and the federal government’s inadequate response to the tragedy.
Nacido en Atlanta, Georgia
Spike Lee es un cineasta innovador y provocador que no vacila en abordar temas candentes relacionados con la raza y las clases sociales en sus películas y documentales. En 1986 obtuvo un éxito resonante con su primer largometraje, la producción independiente She’s Gotta Have It. Escrita, dirigida y producida por Lee (quien también actuó), la película se filmó en menos de dos semanas con un presupuesto de $175,000, y recaudó más de $7 millones en la taquilla. Con una obra cuya originalidad ha sido ampliamente elogiada por la crítica desde la década de 1980, Lee ha traído una variedad de proyectos a la pantalla, entre ellos Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992, y Bamboozled (2000). Entre sus inquisitivos documentales se destacan 4 Little Girls (1997), un examen del atentado con explosivos de 1963 a la Iglesia Bautista de la Calle 16 en Birmingham, Alabama, y When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006), un estudio del impacto devastador del huracán Katrina en Nueva Orleans y la ineficacia del gobierno federal en su reacción a la tragedia.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the artist; 2017 Portrait of a Nation Prize Recipient
Restrictions & Rights
©1999 Jesse Frohman
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
c. 1990 (printed 2014)
Object number
NPG.2015.6
Artist
Jesse Frohman, born 1958
Sitter
Spike Lee, born 27 Mar 1957
Topic
Costume\Headgear\Hat
Costume\Jewelry\Ring
Costume\Jewelry\Watch
Equipment\Camera
Spike Lee: Male
Spike Lee: Literature\Writer
Spike Lee: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures
Spike Lee: Performing Arts\Producer\Motion Pictures
Spike Lee: Performing Arts\Filmmaker
Spike Lee: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Spike Lee: Performing Arts\Filmmaker\Documentary
Portrait
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Medium
Inkjet print on paper
Dimensions
Image: 80.1 × 78.7 cm (31 9/16 × 31")
Sheet: 112 × 92.4 cm (44 1/8 × 36 3/8")
National Portrait Gallery
Type
Photograph