It's 2008 and am remembering when I was ten years old and I figured out how old I'd be in the year 2000. WOW - forty-two! Forty-two seemed really old when I was ten. Fortunately, forty-two is the new thirty-two. I am not so much older than that now but for some reason years are much shorter now. Anyway, seems like I have spent most of my life trying to figure out what I am and where I fit in the world. I have been an actor, a director, an artist, a painter, a student, a teacher, a (step) parent, a child, and on and on. I am still all of those things on some level. I started doing self portraits at about age twelve, undoubtedly inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's self portraits I'd seen in a book.
Artists have explored the image of the "self" (and others) for a very long time and the list of artists who have done some form of self portrait is very very long. Reakton Books Ltd. has published a book by Richard Brilliant entitled (amazingly enough) Portraiture, a theoretical study that looks at the way we look at ourselves. He explores the portrait from antiquity through contemporary history. A bit dense in the first chapter, 'The Authority of the Likeness', but it starts to pick up speed in the second, 'Fashioning the Self'. Brilliant presents some interesting observations and arguments regarding the many faces of portraiture.
I'll be showing some of my self portraits as well as several other pieces at Los Medanos College from January 23rd through February 24th. Here's a link to the gallery's webpage:
Here are some links to sites with self portraits:
And here's the link to my webpage that shows my self portrait work: