READ: Why Self Portraits?

 Identity is complex and multifarious. It is made up of gender, sexuality, physicality, economic status, work, politics, ideologies, education, philosophies, heritage, history, geography, community, and much more.

When creating a self-portrait, ask yourself questions related to who you are, how you have been shaped, where you have come from, where you are going, why you think and believe the things you do, how you see yourself, and how you believe others see you.

Who are you? What is your personal, political or economical philosophy or ideology? Dig deep and challenge yourself.

Remember, also, that this is a work of art, meant to be read, communicated and shared with others. Even when you are exploring personal subject matter, you should keep in mind the artist, work of art, audience relationship.

From the ancient Egyptians portraits of queens and pharaohs to the hundreds of self portraits made by Rembrandt; from Vincent Van Gogh to Cindy Sherman - why do you think artists make self portraits?  Perhaps any of these reasons...

  •     Preservation
  •     Marking time
  •     Free and ever present subject
  •     Curiosity
  •     To expand and explore identity
This lesson is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic license based on work at Open Course Ware Capilano University.
Last modified: Wednesday, 4 April 2012, 6:30 PM