What’s my age? Well, it is Rock your little heart out and I wanna be a rock’n’roll singer, I heard it pays well. Years and years without a filter, I thought you liked the natural look. Ok, let’s move on. By the pool you age quickly, just so you know.
Depicting oneself, not just how one looks like but bringing one’s personality into a picture, has been one important branch in Fine Art. Don’t know is it about facial expressions like smiling and looking happy and fit, showing the best side I mean that much, but they do have a part, what sides anyone wants others to see and how one sees oneself. An important topic of image of human, you and me before photography and still today the slowness of the process of painting and drawing demands focus, thought, intellect and studying, skill of some sort and desire to do it, look at yourself with all you have got. There still are topics worthy of a picture and those topics that get sidelined. It takes time and an idea of you to frame you. To have an idea of oneself and imagine it further, maybe a little lie, taking time to look at oneself without judging or maybe the most interesting part is what gets judged and should be eliminated. ‘Flaws’ are possible the most interesting part of you, eliminating them, you eliminate something out of you. It is a process which leads to progress and a good starting point of beginning in art, like who are you, what do you focus on in yourself and in the world, what do you want with this picture. Does it matter what others want to see? What is seeing and perceiving, how do we feel when we are looked at?
Selfies seem to tell where you are instead of who you are and tell where you are headed, which is the stars of course, the celebrity, fame to be looked at and gaining wealth. Being rich is what is desired and selfies often want to tell. What fame accomplishes is a sea of images, a very flat world nowadays. What kind of a phone do you have, what are you wearing, how are you feeling, what is your politics and what kind of a mark do you want to leave in the world, how smooth your skin is, what products do you use, something very commercial and sellable, but does tell of you, I suppose. It is like you are for sale and any mistake is monitored and as a result you are either approved or discarded or whatever, making money or not is the valuable to know in what you do, but you want to be accepted as you are with filters and ideals that Instagram shows. Authenticity being a lie is an interesting way to the natural which we all appreciate. Swiping images of faces, what is it? What is this digital mush? Not buying, are you selling, what are you selling? How many beauty products do we need to be happy?
Promoting yourself the most, not examining who you are, constantly, so don’t make a mistake even though those can be the most interesting thing you ever did. How careful do we have to be with images as they are the manufactured good? It is strange in the times of therapy and healing that we are products to be sold or discarded, mocked and used. Messaging what you stand for and that is who you are and have been since the election of Trump, because Trump is bad and you are good. The right side or the wrong one, but as always image is to create you, real or not, a show of you. Do you create the image as is the assumption or is it made for you like a ready-made, an easy enough plan to follow? There are lots of fears concerning the self-image, how people perceive you and do they accept you. Do you accept you and why are you your image? Are you your authentic self as is the desire and need? What does authenticity even mean anymore when opinions are the most dangerous thing? Even makeup is to look natural made artificially, point is to cover any sign of aging, fat or whatever thing people like to stare at.
The viewer might try to find you, but considering how images are modified, reshaped, tuned, controlled, seeing the human is getting more difficult. Just make a statement. It is like we don’t want to be seen, even though your face and body are there, there is a layer or many layers on you. The topic is to look good and sexy on a stream nonstop, sexy by the pool in your bikinis posing. You are pressured to look a certain way and you are corrected to look ‘better’. Social pressure has always been there and still today those who do not conform are odd. Which non-conforming is accepted today, I wonder. I don’t see it. Non-conforming is to go against the grain per se and clearly many don’t like it. I thought that was a good thing. People are surprised when someone doesn’t do as pressured. I am the weak one, right? Today in all freedom and unity women pressure other women to be the image pointing out every flaw in you. I do enjoy my natural state, unmodified and I have no intention joining this mass movement of dullness and looking like celebrities, I mean famous people, enjoying leisure, you do all look the same. That is the ideal, beauty in leisure and it is work. If you make money, it must be work. If it pays well, it is valuable and worth everybody’s time.
So, back to self-portrait, you look at yourself in the mirror or like I first started without it and painted an imaginary picture of myself which I had kept to myself till I painted it. How you picture yourself without seeing yourself physically is an interesting mind exercise of what you think of yourself and how new a picture of you can get, not to mention are you capable of doing it, are you able to hold a pen and start. In a world where others like to define you, tell who you are and should be like and should look like, it is more than a welcome way of practicing learning to know yourself, learning to look at, seeing, being yourself in a hostile environment where people bring chaos into your life just because they can, trying to be unique (whatever that is) and just learning an art technique to move forward. Image today is a proof of you existing and living digitally online and the online is fast moving to change the reality and us into images with few dimensions. Billions of people having phones in their hands standing next to a cliff, say hello to the world. Self-portrait is telling perhaps there is more to you than a snapshot. Selfie is telling how well do you imitate someone else? The Barbi doll is someone to go for in real life for some reason I do not know. The Barbi doll is a mystery even though it is plain obvious living dead. Her body is controlled, fit hourglass and all she does is maybe walk the beach to be seen. Time taken to think about what you are doing other than a product of yourself is also important in finding something humaine and personal or are you erasing the personal, other than you are here and this is how beautiful I look like, like me, want me etc. Beauty being the manufactured kind, that can be rebuilt by surgery over and over again. There is no limit as there are doctors who will do it. Thinking about what is changing in perceiving a person and oneself and do we see every picture as art-like, you as the artwork and everyone is an artist and what does it mean eventually for art, artists and is it even interesting. Maybe art is vanishing as it has been? Art is valuable clearly when it makes money. How the visuals we produce are changing and how much technology dictates the images we make? There is quite much control for good and bad images flattering being one huge reason to do pictures, curating oneself is to be a professional, like poor lighting, unthought background, unfortunate line when drawing, smell of decay and shit etc? The control aspect is what strikes as abuse of power and ‘perfecting’ everything not understanding what is good. A good image of you?