Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Out of the Closet"

Self-portraits...an interesting proposition. It takes more than a bit of courage (or outright balls)to paint or draw oneself and then put it up for the perusal and assessment of the general public. I suppose that there are a lot of ways to look at the process. Is it a bit of ego, public soul searching and revelation, catharsis, masochism, or just artistic tightrope walking? I've done my modest share, but I decided to go all out and over the top with this one. At 72"x30", it's full sized. (The bone man is scrunched into a 5' 7" tile border, so he will need some chiropractic adjustment at some point.)

My opinion is that a self portrait is overtly about the artist and how he sees himself, but once hung on display becomes much more a mirror for the viewer. We tend to recognize bits of ourselves in it and our lives, and in the process may be either fascinated or repulsed by what we see. The best self-portraits that I have seen are endlessly fascinating. My own visual appreciation of them usually includes a large dose of self assessment and comparisons with the elements that I find an affinity to. Sort of like going to a party and checking out how cool or lame one's clothes are to the rest of the company. We hope that we are in the top 1%, but are often brought a bit closer to
reality in the process.

Well, we are a pretty comical species...so lofty, and often so childish.

For your perusal and contemplation..."More And Less Than I Appear". Acrylic on muslin over wood panel, 71 7/8" x 30"