Artists and Self-Portraits
Updated: Sep 12
I have never been interested in doing portraits or self-portraits although I did a few self-portraits earlier on. Many artists, on the other hand, do not feel the same as I do. Here is a self portrait by Chuck Close.
Here is A Portrait of a Man by Van Eyck. Many believe it is actually a self-portrait. I love turbans.
Self-portraits were an integral part of Frida Kahlo’s art. Shown here: Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.
Here is an unconventional self-portrait by Salvador Dali. Shown here is Soft Self-Portrait with Grilled Bacon. Notice his iconic, upturned moustache.
Another artist who did many self-portraits throughout his life is Giorgio de Chirico. Here is his first self-portrait. He also depicted himself in costume in many of his self- portraits.
Louise Bourgeois is known mainly as a sculptor but here is a self-portrait on paper. Notice the mask superimposed on the body of the feline animal.
Artist Yayoi Kusama is a celebrated contemporary artist. All her installations are about polka dots. Here is one of her self-portraits.
Artists are very observant and often brutally honest in depicting others. But what about when they depict themselves? Yes, they are brutal in how they see themselves also. Here is a self-portrait by Lucian Freud.
I do not like the work of Norman Rockwell. To me his art is mediocre at its best and cloying at its worst. I am posting his self-portrait here to show how mirrors have helped artists do self-portrait.
Here is another take on a self-portrait. Shown here The Painter in his Studio by Johannes Vermeer.
I do not participate in group shows anymore. You never get to understand anybody ‘s work that way and often a lot of unsatisfactory work ends up in group shows. But if you were to name the right cast of characters, then yes I would reconsider. One such artist is Kehinde Wiley. Here is his self-portrait.
Here is a self portrait of an artist at his most vulnerable and self-destructive stage . . . and perhaps crazed state of mind. After all most of us do not cut off our own ears.
Here is the most disturbing self-portrait I have come across. Depicted here is The Desperate Man by Gustave Courbet.
You would not expect Marcel Duchamp to have created a traditional self-portrait. Here is his self-portrait in profile.
If we are talking about self-portraits, we have to include the latest form of a self-portrait, the selfie. Here is master of disguise, Cindy Sherman doing selfies.
Here is the iconic Da Vinci’s self-portrait. Dead since 1519 and still breaking the record for the highest price paid for a painting. Good work Signor Da Vinci.
Here is a self-portrait by Francis Bacon. “I loathe my face . . . I’ve done a lot of self-portraits, really because people have been dying around me like flies and I’ve nobody else left to paint but myself.”
Here is Picasso’s Self-Portrait Facing Death, done a year before his demise. The gaze is terrified but brave.
Here is the portrait of Maestro Giuseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini and my self-portrait as Verdi. Verdi is my favorite Opera composer and we were born on the same day of the year. This is also a glimpse into my pre BLUE identity.
Andy Warhol did many self-portraits in drag.
This painting terminates my foray into self-portraits. It’s from the Baroque period and it is by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato. Not as well known as all the other painters I featured but nevertheless a worthy example of the genre. Look at the beauty of his lines and the very clear execution of his shapes.