Monday, August 15, 2005

Self Portraits

Why do we create self portraits, whether through art or photography? I would image we'll find different answers from each artist or photographer asked or from those of us who take family photos only to be kept in an album. Some find this ego-centric. Others, an indulgence. Personally, I find the self a fascinating and changing subject over time and the best part.An artist most known for her proliferation of self portraits was Frida Kahlo. She had a fascinating life, carrying out affairs with many prominent leaders/artists of her time, but a life also filled with illness and pain. One of her many quotes about her paintings:

"I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best."

Frida Kahlo's Art

But one by no means has to be ill to create self portraits. Here are a few more that I like.

Degas: Self Portrait

Series of self-portraits by Van Gogh

A quote from a site on Dali's paintings:

In all of Dali's paintings you can find a self-portrait. That is, if you look hard you will see at-least a sillouette of Dali himself.

Dali Self Portrait

Odilon Redon Self Portrait

Edvard Munch series of self portraits

Rousseau Self Portrait

One of my favorites...
Chagall Self Portrait

Jan Toorop Self Portrait

Page of Traditional Artist Self Portraits

Another page of Wonderful Self Portraits

Yousuf Karsh, Photographer

Matisse and Picasso at MOMA

I would love to see links posted in Comments to your own favorite self portrait on line, either of self, artist or photographer. I would especially love to see links to female artists, either traditional or contemporary.

This post was prompted by a note from someone this morning asking why I posted photos of myself or created haiga using my own image. I thank him for inspiring this search. While I'm not an artist, my answer would be partly similar to Frida Kahlo's: I'm much isolated and often I'm my only subject. My other answer would be that I create whatever I do because I enjoy doing it, be it poetry, comments, calendars, or photographs. Plain and simple:-)



Orendon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pris said...

I'm not interested in car rentals or animal cartoons for sale. Please stop spamming my blog. Thanks.

Michael Parker said...

Hi Pris, I really like Frido Kahlo's thoughts on self-portraits. Your work, which includes photos representing all ages of your life, are more than mere self-portraits. Through them, you show or describe life how it was at that time. It's cataloging culture, history; it's a record of your journey through life. For this, I find your photos, haigas, and poetry intriguing and always prescient. I appreciate your work.

Thank you for being courageous enough to share your photos with the Internet community.

p.s. I can't imagine anyone being offended or turned off by your use of your own photos. 1) you are the owner of this website and the content therein. You can publish whatever you want. And, 2) anyone who is offended or disturbed by the content can simply use their finger power and click away to another less disturbing site.

Pris said...

Hi Michael
Thanks for your comment. Yes, you're right about the historical perspective in so many of the photos I post. Right now, I'm corresponding with a friend I grew up with in a small Southern town in the fifies. He teaches creative writing at The University of Colorado and is considering a book on being raised during those days. Having been a miniature shutterbugger and documentarian (a word??) since I was 8, I've shared with him many photos from a period of time that's hard to conceive of now. While he won't use the photos, they've provided much fodder for his potential book.

At some point I'll scan some of the commune days photos and post them. I have one of a group of us (all long haired) getting ready to leave for a Peace March. (and no, not against the Vets..I had people I loved in that war..against the war itself..time for it to end).That was another slice of history that was fascinating to me.


keros said...

Hi Pris- my self-portrait represents a period in my life, one of innocence, that I could never capture again. I felt the need to re-capture that spirit with the same two hands that drove it away. There’s a lot of symbolism in it, some of it was meant to be there, some of it was planted there sub-consciously.

Pris said...

You're 21 in that painting. I remember from your site. You may have driven it away, but , since you also still use it as your profile picture, it must have a lot of meaning to you to this day. I like the portrait. I think didi menendez's portrait of you in the here and now, featured on Michael Parker's blog, captures another facet of you, too. No, not innocent. More like rich with emotion and moving through life with intense energy inside you.

sb said...

This topic does fascinate me, since the extent of my self-portraiture is what slips through my words, and a very few shots taken to satisfy the requests of others. I did do one photo-stitch of ten photos over five decades, again in response to a request. I've been camera shy since an awkward childhood; persisting through an unknowingly lovely youth; and into this clumsy middle-old age.

People who don't see me seem to think I am beautiful. I'd just as soon they maintain their illusions.

Pris said...

A lot of people are camera shy. I have a lot of photos of me, but never found myself very attractive. Looking back, I'm glad I have those photos since now, I think I looked just fine. I would venture you did and do, too.

Michael Parker said...

I hate to have my picture taken.

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

Hi Pris,

I followed your Cafe Cafe invite-link over here; an interesting discussion. In lieu of a less complicated response (lol), I thought I'd share a relevant poem of mine with you. Hope you enjoy it. ; )


P. S. -- I can't get the format(-ting) of the poem to work correctly here, but it's close enough as is.


Self-Portrait: Reading at Breakfast

before me a newspaper
slices of cantaloupe
a pair of truck

bombs exploded
Saturday morning outside
two synagogues

crowded with families attending
bar mitzvahs
killing at least

the coffee is ready

Pris said...

You take a great photograph! I do understand that feeling, tho.

That's a powerful poem and yes, a snapshot of life, all right! Thanks for sharing it here and the visit to my blog.

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

No problem! I'm glad that you enjoyed it.