Self-Portraits and Identity

Self-portraits reveal so much about who a person thinks that they are.  There was a time when it took a tremendous amount of skill to take a self-portrait; where it was art and it was from the soul.  Da Vinci is the first that comes to mind.  It took skill and soul and time.

These days, it only takes a cell phone and really no skill.  The phone or the camera does all of the work for you.  I wouldn’t say that I study self-portraits, but I am fascinated by them.  I don’t even have a self-portrait in mind.  I just was thinking about how years ago, it took skill and time and it reveals something deep about you because that’s where it comes from.

Today, it’s not about skill.  It’s about equipment, and everyone has it on their phones and computers.  Today, it’s about surface and not soul.  Today, it’s about keeping up with the media culture.  If you don’t post pictures, no one’s reading your stuff.

It doesn’t change the fact that self-portraits still says something about you.  It might not take skill, but it definitely takes some security.  It takes a sense of self to post a picture of yourself.  So you don’t have to paint your mug, but you have to be comfortable with it.

So post away.  Share some of the ones that you like in the comments.

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve always thought that this version of Andy Warhol’s “Self-Portrait” was really fascinating. Most of the other self-portrait versions are monochromatic or have weird colored designes over his hair or face. This one though, is just himself. No color variations or changes to black and white. It’s the original and unmodified version.

    1. I love that picture. The last time I was at the MET (in NYC), I saw some of his work there. They had a huge version of this picture – in 4 different colors.
      I think when Worhol took this picture, it was still in the era where it took some skill and some soul.
      I am not sure we take self-portraits like this any more. What do you think?
      Thanks for posting Staci.

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