Monday, September 27, 2010


“I paint self-portraits because … I am the person I know best.”
- Frida Kahlo

In the post modern world, where photography has taken the place of painting as a record keeper of visual imagery and feeling states, Photoshop has usurped the need to invest hours creating a likeness of oneself when, with the touch of a key, bring into existence watercolor paintings, post impressionistic portraits, and images evoking space and time. I can fashion myself in the style of Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Georges Seurat, the Gorilla Girls, and so on.

This insight has had the effect of expanding the definition of what actually constitutes a self-portrait. and begs the question, aren’t all artistic creations expressions of some aspect of self and therefore, in part or in essence, self-portraits?

(right: Self-Portrait in the Wilderness, mixed media, 2009)

This self portrait reflects the difficulty experienced during my son’s transition into young adulthood. The conflict finds expression in the form of the masculine archetype of a bull, which I attempt unsuccessfully, to contain. The image came to me in a dream: I stood on a bridge that needed to crossed alone. The bull, too heavy to hold, had to be let go in order for the next leg of our journeys to begin. The scene is placed in a temple; a sacred place of transformation.

(left: Heavy to Hold, mixed media, 2009)

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