In a powerful series by artist and curator Rachel Graves, she interprets the catcalls and street harassment that’s thrown at her and her friends when in public places. Menagerie is a collection of self portraits that liken this lewd and unwanted treatment to the way that animals are prey.
“The project came about as a way for me to take control of what was happening and find a way to answer back and gain ownership over myself again,” Graves explained to The Huffington Post. “For me it was important to do more than simply dress up and paint my face to represent some of the names and insults being thrown at me. I didn’t want to just turn myself into the object that the harassers saw me as. I wanted to find a way to get my sense of self back, to be able to throw the words away and take back control.”
“Bird,” “fox,” and “bitch,” are all references to animals (and ones that women are called) that dehumanize people, and are all costumes that Graves wears. She paints ghoulish-looking makeup and fashions snouts that reflect the identity of what she is to her taunters. Afterwards, she washes herself of these oppressive masks.
“Being a woman in a public space can be a scary thing. Some men perceive women’s bodies as being public property, and act in ways that are intimidating and sexually aggressive. When I experience street harassment, my autonomy and control over my own body is taken away from me,” Graves says, again to The Huffington Post. “A similar thing can be seen in the industrialization of farming practices. Animals and women are objectified in similar ways: seen merely as pieces of meat for public consumption.”
By washing away the paint and taking off the noses, Graves regains her own identity. (via The Huffington Post)
It is almost difficult to believe that these self-portraits by Spanish Eloy Morales are oil paintings. His oil painting are generally executed on large panels such as the one above. Morales carefully blends colors and layers to flawlessly recreate his portraits. He nearly seems to consider each painting a separate test of his abilities. Morales is known to write notes prior to a painting of goals to meet that he felt weren’t met on a previous work. However, there is more to his work then a simple recreation of a photorgaph. Morales explains in Poets and Artists Magazine:
“I am interested in working on reality through the use of pictorial codes, previously understanding that it is a false relation and I always keep in mind that painting is an independent expression. Finding a meeting point that truly represents my vision keeps me going on painting.” [via ignant]
Alicia Savage captures her life with a surreal twist that pushes beyond the static point and shoot. From absurd flights of fancy to soft reflective moments, each self-portrait conveys an independent sense of travel or transcendence: movement that emphasizes the importance of dreaming in relation to personal exploration and documentation. Conceptually, it’s that simple– but technically, it’s a little more challenging. Her exquisite use of color, light, setting, and digital manipulation curiously compels us to enter these departures with great anticipation.
Cool photographs from Akihiko Myoshi. The photographer is captured in a mirror as bars of color, meant to evoke pixels, are positioned in the frame. A nice commentary on personal identity in the Digital Age. But the coolest thing about this series is Myoshi’s process:
The photographs included here are of mirrors, paper and tape often adhered to the surface of the mirror taken with a large format camera as they attempt to unpack the structural mechanics of photographic representation.
Originally a computer engineering PhD candidate, Myoshi now makes art and teaches at Reed College. (via)
Dutch painter Philip Akkerman has 200 or more self-portraits on his website. They are extremely varied stylistically but almost always share a really unsettling vibe that’s hard to articulate. In the paintings, Akkerman is usually glaring; eyebrows and lips turned downward. What’s most intriguing in these works is Akkerman’s evolution over time. He’s experimented with myriad different styles and techniques and grown as a painter, and his various transformations are all laid out in these works. Not his glare, though. That’s remained somewhat of a constant. (via)
Here are a few images from a 2009 fashion shoot by Eric Nehr modeled directly after the works of Egon Schiele. For some reason, these snaps expose Schiele’s notorious vanity even further. But of course no one does self portraits like he did, with his writhing, angular paintings full of turn-of-the-century angst. A nice tribute. (via)