Self-Portraits

I have an idea that has been busy percolating in my head all day, that I think I’m really excited about. The personal nature of my current project has me thinking about the process of creating self-portraits. When I was an undergraduate at RISD, I painted an embarrassing number of self-portraits because of my own insistence that all of the figures I painted were from direct observation.  It was either that or go broke paying for a model. Now that I look back on it, I saw myself at the time as a convenient object to observe, and never thought for a second to make the portraits serve or communicate any other purpose. I started thinking today about why, in the past fourteen years I haven’t drawn a single self-portrait.

This idea is still very raw and primitive right now, and I haven’t worked out yet in my head what all of this means, but I do know this: I have the physical capability to draw myself, but I can’t and I won’t.  I can’t look at myself, and I think a lot of this is deeply embedded in the depression and themes of self-loathing. Although I’m excited about this idea, I’m also hesitant and a little terrified of exploring these themes-exactly what makes me think that I have to do this.

To represent this,  I’m thinking of a series of “self-portraits” where I draw myself by drawing from Marianna, who is quickly emerging to be my muse. I can’t look at myself, but I can look at her as a means of seeing myself. This content needs a lot of work and much more clarity, but I’m ecstatic about the thematic and visual possibilities.

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