I hate my stupid face. And I love it, and I hate it.
What is a self portrait: An act of vanity, fantasy, of self-loathing? All? None?
How can we even paint ourselves when we don’t even see ourselves as others do?
Or how can we represent ourselves when so much of our selves is unknown to us? – the subconscious, the denied.
How do we represent what we substantially are, in a superficial world?
There are no answers entire offered here but those are some of the questions I’ve asked in between swearing and silence.
I began this self-portrait ages ago. I painted a relatively realistic rendering of my face, then I painted over it a grotesque charicature, then I painted over this a beautified version.
I’ve now returned to it, and using ‘dramatic’ upwards lighting created a layer over this tending towards the grotesque and the realistic at once in an attempt to balance all three versions in one.
I’m not happy with it, but then neither am I happy with my face. Acceptance is the order of the day.