My main focus for this project was exploring the self through themes of self-portraiture. I wanted to create paintings that are a personal insight into how I view myself and how I interpret how others see me. The main goal was to really let go of realistic depictions and produce paintings that came from a reflexive view of myself.
This was put into practice during my research of Maria Lassnig, who created paintings based around her feelings while still immersing herself in her central theme of Body Awareness. Her work helped me to move away from the idea that I must make realistic paintings in order for them to mean something and allowed me to be more experimental in my paintings.
After applying this to a series of oil paintings, I saw that a feeling of uncertainty was clear in all of them. I wanted to then push this and really show the distorted view I have of myself through my paintings, I began to exaggerate certain features such as the nose and eyes as these have always been prominent to me in my reflection.
The elimination of structure in my portraits is where I aim to show the break down of my uncertainty in what I really look like and how my sense of self is often diminished by the weight of my perception of how others view me. After researching the work of Amy Bessone, more specifically her self-portraits which are a reflection of her mind, I was able to produce these three paintings for the final part of this project that show the dissection of how I view myself.
This project has helped me to gain a new awareness of how I respond to different forms of art and I have developed a new appreciation for a more interpretive style and I plan to experiment further with this new approach in the future.