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Picturing the Male Self

This is a series of male self-portraits presented at Crystal Bridges.  The photographs are rather dark–I was experimenting with a manual setting to compensate for the museum lighting.

Picturing the Male Self

Picturing the Male Self

We’ll start with this sculpture–I think it would be interesting to just sit near this to watch people’s reactions, it is so detailed and lifelike.  Evan Penny, aluminum, silicone, pigment, hair, fabric.

Old Self-Portrait of the Artist as He Will (Not) Be, Variation #2, 2010

Old Self-Portrait of the Artist as He Will (Not) Be, Variation #2, 2010

Self-Portrait, 2011

Self-Portrait, 2011, David Bates

Self-Portrait, 1911

Self-Portrait, 1911, Morton Livingston Schamberg

Self-Portrait Among Churchgoers, 1939

Self-Portrait Among Churchgoers, 1939, Ben Shahn

Self-Portrait, 1935

Self-Portrait, 1935, Paul Cadmus

Studio: End of Day, 1961

Studio: End of Day, 1961, John Koch

This next is based on black and white photos by Sam Samore.

Untitled (After Sam), 2006

Untitled (After Sam), 2006, Rudolf Stengel

Self-Portrait, n.d.

Self-Portrait, n.d., Joseph Stella

Self-Portrait, 1935

Self-Portrait, 1935, John Stewart Curry

The Closed Window, 2001

The Closed Window, 2001, Will Barnet

Self-Portrait, 1912

Self-Portrait, 1912, Stuart Davis

Self-Portrait, 1933

Self-Portrait, 1933, Oscar Bluemner

Man & Wife, 1944

Man & Wife, 1944, Milton Avery

It strikes me that not only are these men not smiling nor do they seem to be enjoying life or their art, but some of them look truly miserable.  What comes first, the art or the angst?

Speaking of self-portraits, my art quilt group has a new challenge: Self-Portrait.  We don’t have too many rules for this one and the initial idea came from the late quilt artist,  Yvonne Porcella.  Have you done a self-portrait?  Do you have a favorite self-portrait?  Send me a link if you do and search for Yvonne Porcella’s Self-Portrait class for some colorful examples.