Alter Ego is one of an edition of four sculptures with the same name made by the artist in 1963. The main body is painted fiberglass in dark blue and white. Attached to the front with a steel pin is a light blue painted wood element. Though in 2018 the artwork was in mostly good structural condition, after many years of display and storage the surface of artwork was faded and suffered numerous physical damages. Close examination revealed that the existing paint was original and it had not been previously repainted.
Through consultation with the artist’s daughter, Nadine Witkin, it was revealed that Alter Ego was appropriate for full repainting. It had been exhibited outdoors (and was badly faded), is intended for future outdoor display, and it is understood that the artist intended for the colors to be vibrant. Abigail worked closely with Nadine to choose the colors for repainting – referencing archival materials.
After a repair was made to the pin, the surface was prepared in keeping with good industrial practices. The surfaces were primed, minor repairs made to the fiberglass, and the artwork was top-coated with high performance coating that best matched expected satin sheen and color. Adjustments in the coating system were made for the wood substrate. After treatment, Alter Ego was included in an exhibition in Europe in 2018.