Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On Self-Portraits and "I Am"

A lot of what I create are self-portraits. I often use images of my face and body as metaphor, to tell a story of which I am only a small part. In the past, I've referred to myself simply as a vessel; I am to gather Story and bring it into the world.

Despite this, I have a hard time with the idea of my self-portrait. It feels a bit vain, a little self-indulgent to sit in front of a mirror (or looking at a photograph of myself) for the time it takes to draw or paint my own image, so that it is not just a reflection of what I see but an image that others would want to look at, not because it is me but because there is something there that makes them want to take a look at themselves.

A friend once told me that she sees a vulnerability to my work that mirrors that of my personality; maybe shying away from calling a work a self-portrait is another part of that?

"I Am"
acrylic on canvas

To the left of my face in "I Am" is an open, empty bird cage. Falling from it are rainbow colored feathers. I am what I am.