In Tell Me About Yourself, an old man looks back on his time in the East Village in the mid-1970s when he drew pictures of people, mostly tenants in his apartment building, and made the eponymous request to them. The resultant twelve drawings matched with the brief responses make up the greater part of this funny and melancholic work. The drawings, rendered in the men’s room graffiti style, and a rudimentary version of the responses actually were created about fifty years ago.
In Max Popov’s Tell Me About Yourself, an old man recalls when, while living in the East Village during the mid-70s, he asked neighbors in his tenement building and others he met in local haunts if they would pose naked for a drawing and respond to a single request: Tell me about yourself. The art brut (“raw art”) drawings reveal the character traits and states of mind of troubled souls. Their brief, sometimes comical, responses are as revelatory as their undressed poses. They speak of things odd ("I eat mud radishes”), confessional ("I can't stand my wife"), self-delusional (“All you have to know is since then I’ve wised up”), fantastical ("My head is like a plant, of which great things were once expected"), and weighty ("I'm secretly seeking a dispensation. Don't I deserve one?”). These matched drawings and reflections are a peephole view of what people ordinarily keep hidden, sometimes even from themselves.
—Albert Mobilio, author of Same Faces and Games and Stunts