An argument can be made that all art forms are to some degree “self portraits” insofar as they have the potential to reveal important information about their creators. Self portraits, however, are usually thought of as a unique genre; images of the artist that traditionally are mirrored reflections rendered in paint, pencil, photographs and a variety of sculptural media.
While self portraits may well have been among the earliest art forms created,
the oldest documented self portrait was created in 1433 by Flemish master
Jan Van Eyck (Portrait of a Man in a Turban).
From those early Renaissance times until the present day, many artists created self portraits. Some were images curiously inserted, like cameo appearances, into larger works: Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Wedding; Ruben’s Four Philosphers; Goya’s Family of Charles IV and Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas . . . .
Others (the facial likenesses we often think of) were created by artists whose
names are familiar: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Dürer, Rembrant, Goya, Fragonard, Chardin, Millet, Courbet, Manet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Cassatt, Kaylo and, of course, many others.
Contemporary self portraiture collectively reflects the interests of today’s artist to break with past traditions; to create images that do not always flatter their subjects; to have political/social agendas; to be humorous and sometimes irreverent, and to explore non traditional media.
Expect all of this and more in this engaging exhibit conceived and curated by sculptor Eric Laxman.
“It’s All About Me” will be on display at St. Thomas Aquinas College’s Azarian McCullough Art Gallery from 11/5- 12/9/12. The artists’ reception is scheduled for Thursday, 11/15/12 4:30 – 7:30.