Portraits are defined as “1: picture; especially: a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face 2: a sculptured figure : bust 3: a graphic portrayal in words”. Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online In essence, a portrait is a work, representational or not, that captures a person’s personality, their self. That’s all good and shiny, shiny and good, but, in doing so, the artist is also imposing their view upon that person.
Self-portraits theoretically do the same thing. Don’t get me started on the mental gymnastics involved there.
Yet, as we create ourselves, the only ways in which we can express these selves and Selves is to use exterior/externalized elements: words, images, colors, songs, etc.
When we create others, we do the same thing.
We Other them and, in doing so, we Other ourselves.
Now, the point:
How does an artist create portraiture, representational or not, in a highly referential, (post) postmodern world that is heavily reliant on referentiality and the internet?
- read theory on autobiography since, in a way, a self-portrait is as much autobiography narrative as it is portrait.
- bug your various f-lists or readers (assuming you have any)–’cause, really, whose gonna know you better? o.O`
- is anathema to <lj user=amireal>.
- make something resembling a plan (wait, isn’t this bit sorta, ya know, late in the list?)
- collect info.
So, what I need, if y’all don’t mind, is for you, my dearest internet wanders, is to leave me words, images, songs, whatever-you-feel-like that makes you think of wee, tiny squids (me!).
Yes, I know, the idea for this came from a relatively recent LJ meme. I still think it’s an interesting way to collect information.
And, if you’d like more information about the contest I will be entering the piece that y’all are so graciously assisting me in, please go to The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s 2009 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. It’s rather shiny and I have no chance in hell of winning, but it’d be fun to try.