Thursday, April 5, 2012

Collaboraitive Book: Self-Portrait? Seriously?

I’ve become seriously interested in the idea of self-portraits in the most vague and detached way, with the possibility of ending up with something for the collaborative book for the October exhibition. It started with this drawing, though this was someone else; I was drawing passers by while waiting for Ben to pick me up.  

I can't understand why I'm not appalled by the idea. I've never liked my face and my body every since I've become aware of them, and I've wished, ever since that one 4.30 PM, late August, aged 12, I could exist in spirit only most of the time, and utilize available body parts so I can write. But quite apart from that loathing, , after three+ years of figure drawing, perhaps I started to look at my own self, (not so much "body",)  as an object, a shape most accessible to draw and study.

I wonder if it’s a kind of resignation, about being older, having less energy and more health problems, and not having head space and energy to do anything about it. Or like an old T-shirt, where once the fabric is so worn and the colors so faded, it’s too comfortable to throw it away. It's too old to give to charity, you know. Looking back, perhaps my 40's was when I thought this T-shirt was in its “too old, must throw away” stage, but this side of 50 has it become simply too comfortable?

Unlike a T-shirt, it doesn't mean I have the luxury of not having to think about health and do something about it, but I've been really taken aback at my willingness to stand/sit in front of a mirror, let alone stare and record! My mini-project for April has even been one self-portrait a day, either drawing, photographic, or tampering with these results.

Even when looking at portraits, mostly in paintings, I've never been interested in the face or the body of the shape, but clothes/hair/accessory/fashion, the surrounds/interiors/knickknacks were my primary interests, and the "codes/messages" in these elements we in different times and places can't decipher. I'm curious to know which part of a portrait I'll be looking at the next time I happen upon one.

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