Smith titled this portrait ‘Total’, viewing it as an image of herself in its entirety. The photograph was captured on the road whilst Smith was travelling with her husband, the jazz musician, David Murray. At this time, her priorities were making work and bringing up her young son – with no compromise between the two. An image of quiet intimacy, the work radically asserts Smith’s identity as an artist first, and young black mother second. It is one of a number of self-portraits, often including her camera ‘… that comment on her ferocious drive to make art, as well as on the constructs of femininity, the gaze, race, color and beauty’.
 Beauty Is in the Eye, Yxta Maya Murray, Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph (2020)