Work in Progress
Today I came across a fascinating post that accompanies Kelly's very striking self-portrait, in which she ponders the whole concept of photographic self-portraiture, wondering if it is "self-aggrandizing or self-expression." Although I am not going to summarize here what she wrote (because I think you should visit her inspiring blog and read her thoughts in her own words), I want to share my thoughts in response to what I read.
I have always drawn or painted self portraits. Sometimes I do it intentionally, as in the illustration I posted below. Yet even when the subject isn't meant to be me and doesn't really look like me, there's something in its aspect and demeanor that is clearly mine. I too had often wondered if this infusion of my "selfness" in so much of my art was a sign of egocentricity or simply a mode of personal exploration through visual expression. We are all egocentric creatures to a necessary degree, but I have come to the understanding that the ego-driven practice of drawing myself, intentionally and unintentionally, has been a way to get closer to myself, accept myself, and love myself for all the things that are revealed in the process of creating the image. Although it's about me, it's not much more than a reaching out for some kind of contact with things inside that I can't quite find the words to express. Ultimately, though, it is an image and an impression bound by its moment - ephemeral and open to so many interpretations, especially when viewed out of the context of its creation.
Above is a painting I have been working on for the past few days which is far from being finished. It's called Vernal Equinox, a personification of the Earth awaiting Spring. It isn't meant to be me, but...