Category Archives: 2014 – 2015 academic year

de-Formed: Exhibitions in New York.

There is little more exciting than the prospect of visiting somewhere new. Although America was not new to me, New York was indeed a place I had yet to enjoy. And there I was, standing in Manhattan, exploring the high rise architecture, learning about Rockerfeller, travelling to extreme heights, and investigating the Historical and Artistic worlds of this fine city. So much to excite me visually. So rich an area in shapes and forms and beautiful spaces. High rise, of course, but shining and glistening in the sunshine, layer upon layer of built up space.

But all I could do in my sketch book was write about my sadness in regard to uneven distribution of wealth. That there could be so many homeless people in an area so clearly financially prosperous. I know this is similar to any large city, and in fact it was punctuated for me even more by my travels a decade ago in Cairo. However, the extremes of poverty and wealth are so finely tuned in New York; so apparent and distressing. I found myself writing notes. Sometimes they became poems, sometimes scribbles. Frustrated conflict which argued that I must, must be conscious of this, and actively find ways to respond visually; to do something other than just to make another note to self. Equally I felt conflicted that I represented the rich and powerful. I was there travelling. I had the money for such luxuries and was living, eating, exploring without excessive consideration. How DARE I waste this experience by not enjoying every moment?

Thankfully I found an exhibition (amongst the 23 we visited during the week) in New York which helped me to shape these conflicting feelings into something concrete. ‘De-Formations’ in Bruce Silverstein’s gallery in the Chelsea area of New York resonated extremely well with where my thoughts were at the time we visited.

Andre Kertesz

Andre Kertesz’s Distortions series

In 1933 André Kertész photographed two nude models in a carnival mirror as an assignment for the risqué publication Le Sourire. For a magazine often illustrated with erotic drawings, Kertész’s warped images of the female body slide away from the salacious and toward the unsettling.

The Distortions (originally titled Deformations by the artist), were made famous by the 1976 Knopf publication with an accompanying essay by Hilton Kramer.  Kramer indentified Kertész’s radical manipulation of the human figure as more akin to work by Henry Moore, Picasso, Dali and Matisse than to images by photographers of Kertész’s generation.  He writes, “The Distortions anticipate still further changes that do not show up in sculpture or painting until Giacometti’s work of the early forties, de Kooning’s Women of the late forties and early fifties, and Dubuffet’s Corps de Dames of 1950.  It is in the company of such work that Kertész’s fecund photographic inventions will eventually find their proper place.

http://www.brucesilverstein.com/exhibitions/de-formations

Andre Kertesz1

Andre Kertesz’s Distortions series

The distorted body parts, squashed against glass, sculptures of something slightly resembling a body, slumped, the images of reflections, knotted and twisted, these spoke to me. They said something; about how one person’s reality is utterly different to another’s. That without contemplating too deeply, the reality of my life and existence is profoundly removed from that of any other person, highlighted more effectively in the extremes. Rich vs poor. Tall vs short etc. The art work in this exhibition allowed my mind to explore the potential of working with distortion to express my own angst and distress at the sense of being part of a section of society that simply has too much. And I felt that I could express this more confidently in work which speaks about the unknown – that tackles the ‘space between’, the negative areas of the drawing, the unusual, unnatural and intentionally inaccurate. I was hugely inspired by the works in this exhibition, by artists such as Ana Mendieta, Bourgeois, Rona Pondick, Mapplethorpe, Arp, Carlsen, Gormley, Moore and David Smith.

Ronda_Pondick___Untitled_Animal0

Rona Pondick

I felt comfortable with the improbability and confusion; it resonated with how I felt.

Advertisements

Exploratory Bases

DSC_1188

Looking through a pile of books and thinking about the Exploratory Project; painting and drawing in an expressive way. Absolutely loving the imagery and the possibilities.

blocks4

Blocks

blocks2

Keeping on the challenge or exploring with a limited palette I am sticking to imagery which I have already produced on the course, but which I have converted into black and white. I took some time changing the exposure of the original imagery in Photoshop, strengthening individual components/brush marks. I wanted these printed larger than the boards they were going on so that I could wrap the images around them. I am quite keen on these as objects – like wild ink drawings – and have yet to decide whether I will take them much further or create a second set of blocks which will be painted onto as well.

The abstraction of what was much more obvious imagery appeals. The boards each come from a different drawing or painting and they retain much of the style and treatment (brush mark, dynamism etc) whilst having been cropped and converted to this minimal palette.

I am enjoying this project and can see that it has much potential.

Pecha Kucha – Mapping The Territory

doodle4

This is my presentation, exploring current ideas in my own work and investigating the direction I want to go in for the development of my Year 1 work.

https://docs.google.com/a/oca-uk.com/presentation/d/19Mq8gKAfe3mX6ePeM6OqZpad5vPpFnrtRqWJyNC0GNw/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=20000&slide=id.p

Slide 1

This project is really about figuring out where I am. In order to do that I need to strip away some of the issues with my work: ideas I have concreted unnecessarily, methods I have included, subject matter which has become iconic….to find out what it is I want to say, and why. For example, I know what will sell in my exhibitions and can be drawn to work in a decorative way or using colours which I know will appeal to others….

Slide2

I’m drawn to responding intuitively to everything. I know this is typical of creative people; we see beauty in a disintegrating leaf or a bit of dust on a window. This piece was in response to the massacre in Baga, Nigeria and I knew exactly what I felt I was painting. I am conscious that this might not come across to others; that also appeals. The abstraction of imagery adds the possibility of multiple layers of interpretation. People see what they want to see. They make it their own story.

Slide 3

This is another example of layers. The original layer is a painting I completed in 2008. I have since added drawings completed subsequently, and finally my painted face from earlier on this course. It replaces my original face in the painting. I then worked on it with the drawing tablet, experimenting with the drawing tools and eraser – adding and taking away. It is full, too full. I am aware of this. I remember the criticism of my secondary school art teacher saying “Emma, you always do too much!”. But I felt that was just an opinion, not a fact. I see the overworking, and the concentration of marks and part of me feels this is necessary.

Slide 4

My son is literally swallowed up in the marks within this piece. That was intentional. He is supposed to be painted and look like he is part of a painting; they have been intertwined. He is blanketed in the painting; it is part of him, around him, he is the painting. The image is therefore starting to question what the subject matter actually is….and I start to think about how far this can be extended. What do I lose before it has become an abstract painting….at what stage could I reduce it further. There is still so much visual information; so much to draw the eye around.

Slide 5

The same is true of this slide in which my model is almost literally blanketed in the painting. The sweeping lines roll up around him as if they might wrap him; he is looking away from the sweeping movement of the raising greens and blues, balanced by the shadow behind his face. Again I am questioning how far I can push the image; how necessary the model is, yet I am interested in his involvement in being swamped in the painting and I have a dream of literally dressing a model in my actual painting; whilst still partially attached to the canvas.

Slide 6

This is when the doodles have started: the first one being the page I was working on during the presentation about how we plan our essays. There are odd comments from other people within this group; things that jumped out at me, such as when Tanya was describing being filmed and said she giggles like a lunatic all the way through, and that it was horrific. These things struck me as being interesting, worth documenting. Why certain words stood out and became documented – like THOUGHT SHOWER – and others didn’t, there is not necessarily any logic; it was instinctive, as was the drawing, which in retrospect looks remarkably sexual. This was certainly unintentional as if anything during that session I was consciously aware of just feeling swamped and trying to keep my head above water. The main shape is keeping juggling all those balls in the air. The second drawing was done the following morning with my tutor group.

Slide 7

This led me on to thinking about abstraction and expression through drawing. I was interested in communal collaborative drawing, as illustrated in the tutor group doodle; which I found hard to bring together as 16 different drawing styles are not necessarily compatible; however, I felt it needed some unifying marks. My mindmap about abstraction was intended to focus my essay thoughts, but it led me away from studying abstraction and consciousness, and towards thinking about drawing; free drawing and expressive drawing; therapeutic even.

Slide 8

I wanted to choose a method in which I could document the work and also have the work itself become intrinsically part of the work. I decided to create a set of ceramic tiles and cut these hexagonal shapes from porcelain clay. I thought I could make the links between the sides of the tiles, linking different tiles together like some kind of giant bee construction; links to links to links. I was particularly fascinated by the edges; parts of tiles; that these could be small ideas, or artists I am interested in but am not likely to include much about in my writing. People I want to remember for the future but may not be entirely relevant to the journey within this piece of study.

Slide 9

I put the pieces together in something of a jigsaw puzzle; with the partial pieces around the edges. The final shape reminded me of Australia; this goes back to that notion that creative people are inspired by everything. I don’t know why I stood for a while thinking about Australia. I was excited about painting onto the tiles and was conscious that I didn’t want to be too controlling about the design. I wanted to feel that it was instinctive. Of course there were boundaries. I didn’t want to paint with dark glazes as the text or design on each tiles would then be impossible to read.

Slide 10

This design looks much darker than it is. The reds glaze much lighter than they look in their raw form. It was so much fun to paint. I had a great time. The feeling that this was just going to be a background made me feel less precious about the balance of it; but this made me aware of the layers of complexity I have around the way I work; feelings which have become rooted in terms of structure, balance, composition etc. I enjoyed working loosely on these tiles with glazes which I knew were not the actual colours. This was really refreshing for me.

Slide 11

When I put the tiles into the kiln they became muddled (I had numbered the back of each one so that I could remember the order) and this made me reflect further on how each individual tile had become a unique miniature painting of its own. They were individually attractive little pieces, with this potential of changing almost beyond recognition between me closing the kiln door and opening it again. Of course, this is what glazing DOES but I was more aware of it than usual.

Slide 12

This is the tiles after being fired again. The dark reds have become ‘honeycomb’ colour, which was unintentionally appropriate: I had just wanted a colour which would be light enough to work on and little resembling the colour of wood. I like the visible brushmarks where I decided to leave only one layer of glaze. This photograph doesn’t really do the work justice as you cannot see the distinction between layers of glaze.

Slide 13

On closer inspection you can see the raising of areas on the tiles where the glossy white has been applied on top of the honeycomb colour. I was happy with these and will enjoy doodling – sorry – free drawing – on the top of the tiles. Putting this back together again was a nightmare; I ended up having to ask some Year 8 girls to help. To them it was a Mensa challenge, matching the edges; you can see how hard that must have been.

Slide 14

Individual tiles will have information written on them. For example this tile may have an artist’s name written on it, and possibly a few words which describe it, or a title of a work which is worth referencing. I have bought enamel paint to finish each tile so that they will eventually complete the puzzle; a series of tiles referencing artists and styles and words and inspiration for artists who work freely and without needing to reflect the real world.

Slide 15

This small edge piece is where I am at with my work at the moment. The fact that I know it will be something important but, distant. This time of year is always exhausting; my students are completing their GCSE and IB level courses. They are panicking about what is still to be done, and I am trying to reassure them, whilst simultaneously panicking about what I still need to do. I feel like I am an edge piece……. Still hanging in there; but only just. This feeling is sometimes paralysing. However it is pleasing that in an exhibition online this week I have sold 7 paintings. This reminds me to hang in there – that, even when it is frantically busy, keep going; grab onto the pieces either side and keep working back in towards the middle.

Slide 16

These works are happening in my sketch book. On discarded pages from the print-making area at work. Pages which were inked up on, splashed with excess paint and ink, ripped and used and left to be binned. I love them. They are the perfect base for someone on the edge: they say “There is HOPE”. You will make it!!!!!!

Slide 17

And I am inspired by artists who are new to me. In 17 years of teaching I have not come across the work of Frankenthaler. How is this possible? But now that I have I want to explore and investigate further.

Slide 18

The colours are stunning. I am drawn to them like a moth to a lightbulb. I want to learn everything I can about her work. And what she was about and what she was interested in. Her work speaks to me in a way which I don’t feel I can describe, yet. Once I have studied her work further I will no doubt find the language to express what it IS that moves me.

Slide 19

Joan Snyder  “I felt like my whole life, I had never spoken … had never been heard … had never said anything that had any meaning. When I started painting, it was like I was speaking for the first time.”

Slide 20

Basquiat is also an inspiration to me but for completely different reasons. Once I have had time to narrow my thoughts, ideas and artists down to the tiles I have made, I will work my way through them, until this has become a porcelain THOUGHT SHOWER. I have never used enamel paint before so am excited about documenting what is in my sketch book onto the tiles. However, I am delayed by the firing process and am delighted to have a hexagonal piece painting if nothing else. You have seen this being born and developing into a toddler. Next time you see it, it will be a teenager: full of angst and insecurity but brazen with opinions and ideas; pulling connections and conclusions from everywhere. Aware of the irony of having a final slide covered in words whilst my ceramic mind-map is currently void of them.

Painting the Journey

DSC_1005

These little fragments are going to illustrate the journey and ideas associated with my work and research. I decided to work on multiple hexagonal tiles in addition to pieces of tiles. I cut these from porcelain clay and fired them. Having done so I placed them together and glazed them, working freely across the surface. The glazes appear quite dark but will fire much lighter overall. I liked the edges particularly, where they are only fragments. And there are some sections which are not part of the whole but become their own independent ‘island’. The point of this piece is that after it has has been through the glaze firing, I will illustrate each piece with design or text associated with and connected to the journey I am studying – specifically elements of Abstract Painting.

DSC_1002

The tiles prior to glazing.

DSC_1006

I numbered the tiles on the back so that I knew which order to put them back in. This one is something to do with Life, The Universe, and ….everything!

DSC_1008

In the kiln the tiles became disorganised again, but this lack of continuity within the arrangement is also effective in a different way.

DSC_1010

Independent of each other, each tile becomes a small painting, unique and entire.

Painting over the Inner Critic

In the same moment I am captivated by applying paint to the face of one of my models, I am feeling aware of trying to draw away from traditional face painting. When asked by my youngest model whether I could paint her to look like a dog or a butterfly, I explained that she was going to be a ‘painting’ instead. Glad to be experimented on, she did not argue, but there was a sense of disappointment that I was not about to transform her into…something recognizably ‘other’.

DSC_0929~2

Dr H and Family. EBD

I am also in no doubt that I follow a long line of artists who have worked ON and with the body and paint. Yves Klein’s body prints, Keith Haring’s artwork on models and on his own skin, Alexa Mead’s painting on people, and every drag queen, theatrical artist or, in fact, human being. After all, body decoration is effectively part of every culture in some form or another. African tribal designs impregnated into the skin of my mate down the market. Why not?

Keith Haring2 Yves Klein Anthropometrie

(L)Keith Haring, (R)Yves Klein

Keith Haring Grace Jones Fabian Bolanos2

(L)Keith Haring painting Grace Jones, (R)Fabian Bolanos painting model

Using the body as a canvas is nothing new. It is, after all, pretty widely available; interesting to manipulate and alter, effective in transmitting emotion, dynamic to capture, and there is a timescale involved: the process needs to be done and completed in time for the model to continue to function in their normal life – less a blanket of paint. Therefore the process is finite. It is immediate. And it is personal. Each brush stroke literally strokes the skin. One model described them as ‘hundreds of fluttery touches’, another as ‘being caressed’, another as ‘unbearably ticklish’. Mead goes further by bathing some of her models in milk, allowing the paint to disperse, simultaneously hiding and exposing.

alexa meadalexa mead2

Alexa Mead

I am left considering what it is I am actually doing. What is the point? What is my aim? Haven’t I decided what the goal is?At least three different people have asked “What has this got to do with your MA?” as though painting someone’s face is just a bit of childish fun on the way to developing something academically rigorous. There is some suggestion that I am worryingly close to channeling my creativity through a bit of Millie Brown style vomit painting or that I will be dancing around with a painted face as they cart me off to the asylum. Is this paranoia? Yet, the novelty of working very much in the moment, and with the human canvas that also creates restrictions (I’m happy for you to paint down to my shoulder, or, please don’t get paint in my hair etc) is exciting. The movement of paint across the skin is powerful, intense and just occasionally it becomes like weaving a blanket around the model.

DSC_0910~2 DSC_0881~2

DSC_0863~2_1

Top L: Dr H, Top R: H in Pink,  BottomTwins    all EBD

The work of Vera Lehndorf and Holger Trulzsch is really intriguing and is leading me to think about whether the painted faces are just a starting point from which I can develop.

lehndorf2 lehndorf3

Lehndorf and Trulzsch

Painting and placing models into scenarios adds a new direction. I had been contemplating using various sites and painting models prior to using them in particular spaces. Finding artists who have already done something similar is both frustrating and reassuring. My subjects are very much carrying my work on their skin; emblazoned across them; the opposite of a blank canvas. The paint is emotional; it can appear as bruising, tearing, burns, tears, scars, decoration, make-up, pattern, or a combination of all of these. It can also be deeply symbolic depending on my relationship with and knowledge of the model – including the self portraits.

DSC_0752~2

Self Portrait EBD

But the artists I have been looking at confirm my belief that this is more than ‘just painting faces’, and silence my inner critic who occasionally shouts loudly and obnoxiously: get on with the ‘proper art’, Emma.

Language and Consumerism

Notes on a lecture by Gerald Deslandes

This interesting lecture was significant in that we are constantly surrounded by visual imagery intent on accumulating wealth via advertising. The concept that there is no ‘inherent value’ in objects for sale, only a social order of worth was explained given the example of milk being cheap in relation to other products, thus changing its’ ‘value’.

Deslandes cited some specific examples including the suprematist painter Malevich, referencing the world and Christianity in his abstract works. Deslandes commented on how language consists of signifiers which need a code to make sense of them; that systems enable us to navigate meaning. Therefore an image in one community can have distinctly different ‘meaning’ in another.

In Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass the artist is exploring and investigating materials and processes, but, claims Deslandes, Foucault would say that our understanding of the work is within the representation of the nude; our experience of this and exposure to classical models. This is specific within our culture, thus redefining the interpretation of the painting within each set of systems.

manet-dejeunersurl'herbe-large

Manet. Luncheon on the Grass

Richard Serra’s sculpture questioned not only how we use materials but how we use their properties; weight, balance, rusting etc. I have often walked past this sculpture, Fulcrum, at Broadgate alongside Liverpool Street Station, London. It’s dramatic scale and apparently carefully balanced panels create a dramatic piercing through the square; dynamic and powerful, the epitomy of a poignant mark in sheet metal.

 RichardSerra_Fulcrum

Serra. Fulcrum

In Susan Hiller’s work, the relationship between image and value is questioned. We are asked what we understand about the world in terms of the way we present it. In my own work I often reflect on this – what does it say about my perceptions and understanding of the world, and how confined is this to a particular set of constructs; my upbringing, global location, gender etc.

 hiller_1821355b

Hiller at the Tate

Warhol’s images of celebrities depicted as screen prints using different colour schemes described as ‘curiously inane and empty of meaning’ by Deslandes are possibly some of the best known images of Modern Art, certainly a popular choice to create pastiches from in the classroom.  Again, the language is a set of meanings which depends on a framework. Society creates this framework and teaches it, thus meaning is taught in quite a structured way, and does not transcend globally.

Face. Boobs. Pout. SHOOT

Vermeer selfie

Girl with a Pearl Earring Selfie – Mitchel Grafton(?)

Vanity is by no means something new. Whilst we dismiss the youth of today as being the image-obsessed ‘selfie’ generation, those of us well beyond our teens would have been no different with the same opportunity, exploring our own faces from every angle, pouting and preening whilst clicking and editing away to present the world with the photoshopped image of as-good-as-it-gets-prior-to-surgery. The awkward teenager posting please-love-me, or at least please-notice-me shots has grown into the adult doing exactly the same – with simply better, quicker, sharper technology. And this, again, is nothing new. Artists have been commissioned for centuries to paint portraits of those who could afford such luxuries. A tweak here, some good lighting there, a few wrinkles erased – the equivalent of a good photo filter.

Nothing of the Da Vinci Gargoyles and Grotesques in these lavish displays of public vanity and captured youth. So what has changed? The method of recording has become effortlessly smooth, enabling the self-portrait to be a thing of instantaneous joy. No, I was blinking, let’s try it again. No, creepy smile, and another. And another. The perception of the youth of today coloured by their ability to continuously record and edit. But is it for posterity, or has modern society made people feel that to withhold the daily reminder of my face, is akin to death itself. I have been forgotten. I cease to exist. You have not seen my daily #tbt photo or #yolo hilarity. The hashtag giving explanation to the #blonde photo. It is not only necessary to capture myself. It is necessary to broadcast myself across the world wide web to an audience of potential millions – why? Because my face might be necessary in their otherwise deprived lives.  They will appreciate not only my outer but also my radiating inner beauty and it will give them something to aspire to, or give as a design to the surgeon. Too harsh? Of course. I have been a selfie-junkie too. Endless photos of myself and my son; look, I’m a mother, a good mother, he’s smiling, I’m smiling, we’re happy!

selfie selfie

Who is this necessary to prove to? Capture the precious moments, not by living them, but by turning to the camera holding that smile for as loooong as possible. Keep it steady. Stop grimacing. Look like we’re having fun, come on now. We Are Having Fun. Look at us having such a Good Time. Because if we don’t share this, we are the only people who know we’re having a good time. Social media allows everyone to be the photographer – and critic. And the criticism is not saved for those we know. The image can be shared, passed on, published on other people’s blogs and websites, analysed in every detail. Particularly keen on this being the media with their circle of shame and their desire to bring people down; teeth not white enough, breasts not big enough, sign of a bingo-wing or a touch of cellulite? Something the portrait painter would have surely obliterated, choosing a more sympathetic angle, or at least a flattering puff sleeve.

There is claim that we ‘disempower ourselves’ by suggesting that the self-portrait is an act of vanity, that vanity itself is a harmful take on a natural impulse to share ourselves with the world, and to grow to love ourselves more in the process: or if nothing else, at the very bottom line to accept ourselves.

For a teenager trying to figure out their identity, taking self-portraits (yes, even of the facebook/myspace profile variety) might be an incredible tool to dive into finding self-confidence and figuring out who they are. For those experiencing invisibility through gender stereotypes, the whitewashing of media and advertisements and for those who’s bodies don’t fit the mold of what is typically seen as ‘beautiful’ the act of taking self-portraits can be a downright radical act. For me, having felt invisible for much of my life and not beautiful, taking self-portraits in which the goal is to see my own beauty and even dabble in vanity has been deeply healing. (1)

With self-timers available from the late 1880’s and cable release equipment prior to this, allowing images to be taken from a distance, the selfie is certainly not a new phenomenon. But it has changed in sophistication, ease of taking and availability of recording equipment with most people having access to a half decent mobile phone camera – with front facing camera mode – and the ability to edit and upload this instantaneously to social media and websites.

Sharing of self-portraits also pre-dates the internet. The 1860s saw huge popularity for the sharing of cartes de visite – little photocards. Even the photo booth dates back as far as 1880, and attracted groups of friends much as it does today. (2)

The question still persists: is it vanity and narcissism or a cry for attention and a deep desire to be approved of, admired or simply acknowledged. With ‘selfie sticks’ described as a ‘narcissistic scourge on society’ (3) and websites dedicated to showing selfies taken in inappropriate locations such as at funerals, there are inevitably going to be moral questions to answer. But on the whole, the selfie seems superficial and innocent; allowing the publisher to create their own timeline narrative; yearly, weekly, daily or as often as they feel compelled to.  New Yorker Jason Feifer’s search of databases of selfies with people recording themselves with a backdrop of a homeless man or a Holocaust memorial does not appear to judge the intention as he states that people may just want to record where they have been, but he asks the inevitable question of what is necessary:

“This is a thing that people do – and when you see it in aggregate it takes on a meaning. For the first time in human history, we have the ability to share whatever we see, whenever we see it,” he says. “We are still figuring out what value that is, and what is supposed to be shared – maybe everything should be shared, maybe nothing should be shared.” (4)

TonyBlair Kennard Phillips

Photo Op  –  Kennard Phillips

In a recent lecture Caroline Wright asked us to think about the Art Gallery as destination. We acknowledged that for many this is not a physical place any more, and that the online gallery, blogs and artist run spaces allow everyone to feel tangibly closer to ‘being an artist’. And why should the average selfie-taker not feel that their carefully angled and lit self-portrait could be up on the virtual wall alongside the best works in the National Portrait Gallery? As the world opens up virtually and the access to visual media and contemporary methods of constructing digital portraiture become more readily available, it is possible for everyone to feel their own inner David Bailey as they strike a pose and click away. The reality is that few of these images are well shot, lit or composed. They are the musical equivalent of the tin whistle playing alongside the orchestra. However, the tin whistle may also have a huge twitter following, a million friends on Facebook or an international Youtube audience. Does this make the celebrity an Artist? Is the internet the portrait gallery of the 21st Century.

Sir Francis Bacon wrote “no matter how much a painter may try, through geometry or eclecticism to elevate his art above his own particular tastes, his product will remain reflections of himself and, as such, cannot be universally binding.” (5)

Taste, preference and interpretation. The selfie also acts as a signifier of social identity. In this respect it is the contemporary artist who gives the photographic self-portrait critical distance; asking the audience to question the image, perhaps even exploring the notion of the selfie itself by removing the subject, or by adding ambiguity;  ‘the artist’s self-examination is multi-layered’(7)

Petrina Hick Venus

Venus  –  Petrina Hick

[..] the centrality of narcissism in typical twentieth-century views of photographic self-portraiture has recently started losing ground to systems of interpretation inherited from painting and the growing emphasis on the superficial use of the genre. (6)

  1. http://www.viviennemcmasterphotography.com/2013/05/28/vanity-and-self-portraiture/
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22511650
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30455720
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24754876
  5. The Moment of Self Portraiture in German Renaissance Art; Joseph Leo Koerner P.187
  6. Narcissism and Narativity in Photographic Self-Portraiture; Elisavet Kalpaxi, Goldsmiths 2012
  7. http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/oct/22/beyond-the-selfie-step-away-from-the-smartphone-this-is-what-artists-are-for