Reflecting on the Self-Portrait
The self-portrait, by its very nature, is linked to an artist’s identity. She insists on her relevance, her existence, even, through her representation of self. Over the course of two years, I created numerous self-portrait images, subjecting each one to multiple digital processes, producing enormous numbers of variations. A subtitle for the portfolio, As If A Mirror, could be “Theme and Variation, and Variation, and Variation, Ad Infinitum”. The process consisted of layering a gridded self-portrait with disparate images: scenes from my garden, beloved objects, a room in my house,
a place I had visited, for instance, all of them screen-captured grids, chosen from my iPhone’s camera roll because of a particular format, say, or composition, or color scheme. The starting point is always a self-portrait. The second layer changes with each new creation, depending on the time of year, what sparked my interest, where I was sitting at the moment, what I fancied as significant at the time, for example. The layers’ facets mix, push and pull in an always surprising way, like a visual square dance. The resulting image presents at times as a mosaic, at times as a tapestry, at times as a painting.
Jason Farago, in his New York Times essay on Albrecht Dürer’s 1500 self-portrait, implies that the artist presents “the self as a subjective individual, the author of one’s own life story”. My self-portraits, consciously self-centered, are vibrant, deliberate, fabricated, staged composites that state, I am here, and this is my story.