If you took an art class in college, then you had to do the dreaded “Self Portrait.”
I had to do this several times. First in my Freshman drawing class, then I had to do it again in my screen-printing class and then again in my Photography class. And in that one, the self portrait had to contain 15 different photos! Ugh.
Staring at myself for hours on end while trying to create an amazing piece of artwork in an attempt to knock your professor’s socks off was not very enjoyable to me! However, I was honored when my photography professor, who had many books published, asked if he could film my final self portrait project.
Honestly, self-portraiture involves many issues that have nothing to do with how you look. Obviously it’s a good assignment in teaching students how they see themselves. But at the same time, you are conflicted with how should you present yourself — should you accentuate your flaws or flaunt them? Should it be literal or make it abstract? What kind of message do you want to communicate in the image? Should it represent your dark side or your spiritual side or no side at all?
To summarize, it’s difficult to paint, draw, sketch or film yourself. Wait. I stand corrected, so let me rephrase that. In this day and age of social media, there are many people who have no problem visually expressing who they are with some posting hundreds of photos of themselves, giving viewers a very detailed “self portrait!” I am not one of them.
So while I was surfing the web last week, I came across one of the most interesting self-portraits I have seen. I’d say it’s pretty brilliant. Not only does she show her medium and you get the image of her, but the message she sends is very powerful and interpretations are endless. I see many different meanings in this. And why I think it’s brilliant is because while it is a self portrait, you don’t see it solely as that. It’s simply, a work of art. Perfect.