self-portrait

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with self-portrait



Photography

Quotidian Objects Enrich Striking Black and White Self-Portraits in a New Monograph by Zanele Muholi

April 29, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Bester I, Mayotte" (2015), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, all images from Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness (Aperture, 2018)

“Bester I, Mayotte” (2015), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, all images from Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness (Aperture, 2018)

South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi creates striking self-portraits for their series Somnyama Ngonyama, which means “Hail the Dark Lioness” in Zulu. The black and white images elevate everyday objects like clothespins, sunglasses, and wire sponges into elaborate hair pieces and costumes that speak to radical identity and resistance. The extensive series of portraits has recently been compiled into a monograph by Aperture, which contains a conversation with London-based curator Renée Mussai, in addition to more than twenty contributions from writers, curators, and poets.

Ninety powerful representations of the visual activist occupy the pages of Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness, which acts as both an autobiographical work and a compendium of resistance. In response to the book’s release Muholi states, “I am producing this photographic document to encourage individuals in my community to be brave enough to occupy spaces—brave enough to create without fear of being vilified. . . . To teach people about our history, to rethink what history is all about, to reclaim it for ourselves—to encourage people to use artistic tools such as cameras as weapons to fight back.”

Muholi has documented black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people throughout South Africa for the past decade. They are the cofounder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women and founder of Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual media. Muholi currently lives and makes work in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is an honorary professor at the University of the Arts Bremen, Germany. You can see more of their portraits on Yancy Richardson Gallery’s website.

"Ntozakhe II, Parktown, Johannesburg" (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Ntozakhe II, Parktown, Johannesburg” (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

"Senzekile II, Cincinnati" (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Senzekile II, Cincinnati” (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

"Kodwa I, Amsterdam" (2017), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Kodwa I, Amsterdam” (2017), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

" Basizeni I, Amsterdam" (2016), © Zanele Muholi, commissioned by and courtesy of Autograph ABP, London

” Basizeni I, Amsterdam” (2016), © Zanele Muholi, commissioned by and courtesy of Autograph ABP, London

"Zithulele, Worcester, South Africa" (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Zithulele, Worcester, South Africa” (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Faniswa, Seapoint, Cape Town” )2016); © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

 

 



Art Photography

Camouflaged Self-Portraits Conceal Photographer Cecilia Paredes Against Bright Floral Patterns

November 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Both Worlds" (2009), all images provided by Cecilia Paredes

“Both Worlds” (2009), all images provided by Cecilia Paredes

Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes is the subject of her own richly patterned photographs, yet her figure is often difficult to locate at first. For each portrait she hangs boldly printed fabrics as the backdrop, which she then matches either with her painted skin, custom clothing, or both. Her torso, arms, and face fade into the background, as the curvature of her body and brown hair become some of the only indicators of her presence.

“I wrap, cover, or paint my body with the same pattern of the material and re-present myself as part of that landscape,” she explains. “Through this act, I am working on the theme of building my own identification with the entourage or part of the world where I live or where I feel I can call home. My bio has been described as nomadic so maybe this is also a need of addressing the process of constant relocation.”

Paredes was born in Lima, Peru and currently works between Philadelphia, Lima, and Costa Rica. Currently she has a solo exhibition at Museum of Latin America Art (MOLAA) in Los Angeles through December 30, 2018, and will open another solo exhibition at the Museum of the University of Navarra (MUN) in Spain on March 27, 2019. (via LensCulture)

'Dreaming Rose"

‘Dreaming Rose”

"Mia Standing with Butterflies" (2015)

“Mia Standing with Butterflies” (2015)

'Paradise Hands" (2011)

‘Paradise Hands” (2011)

"En tus alas" (2014)

“En tus alas” (2014)

"Lilly" (2014)

“Lilly” (2014)

"Nocturne" (2009)

“Nocturne” (2009)

"Art Nouveau" (2011)

“Art Nouveau” (2011)

"Blue Landscape" (2007)

“Blue Landscape” (2007)

 

 



Art Craft Illustration

Hand-Sewn Portraits by Sheena Liam Capture Quiet Moments of Self Care

October 16, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Malaysian-born artist and model Sheena Liam (previously) creates self-portraiture through dark green thread and embroidery hoops. The hand-sewn images imitate her own subtle gestures from her day-to-day life, focusing on rituals of self care. “In a strange way modeling parallels my art in the sense I often have to use body language as means of expressing a certain sort of mood,” she explains. “It’s no different from my embroideries.”

Long locks flow off the canvas from sewn ponytails and braids, which give the monochromatic work a sense of movement from their static position on the wall. Liam’s first solo exhibition in France, Times New Romance, opens at Item Gallery in Paris on October 19, 2018 and runs through October 27, 2018. You can see more of her works on Instagram.

     

 

 

 

 

 



Art Craft Photography Science

Self Portraits Embroidered With Images of Blood Vessels, Bones, and Muscle Tissue by Juana Gómez

February 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Juana Gómez turns her gaze inward in order to understand the larger systems that compose the outside world. She embroiders the bones, muscles, veins, and synapsis that lie below her skin onto self-portraits, tracing her biological structures as a way to translate the similar patterns found in nature and modern civilization.

“There is fundamental law that can be seen in the veins of a leaf, the course of rivers and their tributaries, the circuits of the central nervous system, the currents of the sea, and the routes of traffic on the Internet,” says Gómez in an artist statement. “Deciphering this common language, which connects the micro cosmos with the macro cosmos, the external and the interior world, allows us to distinguish a pattern that influences inert, biological, social and cultural systems.”

Gómez first photographs sections of her body—face, torso, hands, legs, feet—which she then prints onto loose linen or another similar fabric. Next, she embroiders onto her duplicated skin, stitching brightly colored thread over her tattooed body (an element which adds another layer of texture to her personal works). In addition to these embroidered self-portraits, Gómez has also created an in situ thread-based work titled Cultivo. You can see both methods of her practice on her website.

 

 



Art

Three-Dimensional Portraits of Suspended Paint Strokes by Chris Dorosz

October 24, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Rather than considering paint as a liquid medium, San Francisco-based artist Chris Dorosz uses the traditional material as a unit of measure to form anonymous sculptural portraits. At first glance, the three-dimensional paintings read as abstract compilations of shapes, and only once the viewer looks head-on at the portrait does a human figure begin to emerge.

As he writes in his artist statement, Dorosz considers the paint drop to be “a form that takes shape not from a brush or any human-made implement or gesture, but purely from its own viscosity and the air it falls through, as analogous to the building blocks that make up the human body (DNA) or even its mimetic representation (the pixel).”

Dorosz is represented by Scott Richards Contemporary Art. The suite of four busts, entitled Rosh, is on view November 18, 2017 at the Muriel Guépin Gallery in New York.

 

 



Art Photography

New Conceptual Self-Portraits Tap Into Photographer Kylli Sparre’s Fantastical Imagination

December 2, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

Kylli_Sparre_Mutual_Forgetfulness-v

Tapping into unlived memories, Kylli Sparre (previously here and here) produces conceptual photographs that seem to be pulled from dark fairytales and otherworldly settings. The images are always focused on a lone woman in a dramatically staged pose, a reference to her past as a professionally trained ballet dancer. The environment surrounding the women is often hazy— barren landscapes that seem to isolate the women in both space and time.

Sparre’s work was featured at this year’s Art The Hague art fair in Amsterdam by Qlick Editions. You can see more of the Estonia-based artist’s thoughtfully composed images on her Facebook and portfolio site.

Kylli_Sparre_Steadiness_of_the_Flow

Kylli_Sparre_Speculation

Kylli_Sparre_fragile_flames-v

Kylli_Sparre_Allies-v

Kylli_Sparre_Tangibly_Imaginary-v

Kylli_Sparre_Symbiosis-v

 

 



Photography

Photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen Seamlessly Integrates His Body with the Natural World

November 5, 2015

Christopher Jobson

arno-5

Fosters Pond II, 1989. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

Finnish-American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen has been capturing self-portraits of his nude body in natural surroundings for the better part of five decades. More than just existing in these scenic locations, Minkkinen fully merges his limbs and torso like a chameleon, blurring the lines between where the world ends and his body begins.

The methods used to create these bold and uninhibited shots pre-date the use of Photoshop by decades, instead relying on a simple 9-second shutter release that allows Minkkinen to quickly pose for each shot. He usually works completely alone, and won’t let anyone else look through his camera’s viewfinder, lest they instead be labeled ‘the photographer.’ What may appear as a simply composed photo with fortuitous timing, is often the result of Minkkinen taking dangerous risks as he submerges himself in strong currents, buries himself in ice, or balances precariously on the edge of a cliff. He shares from an article How to Work the Way I Work:

Many of my photographs are difficult to make. Some can even be dangerous. I do not want to have someone else coming in harm’s way taking the risks I need to take: to lean out off a cliff or stay underwater for the sake of my picture. We control how much pain we can tolerate; such information is unknowable by anyone else. Some of my pictures might look simple, but in reality they can test the limits of what a human body is capable of or willing to risk. Thus I title them self-portraits, so the viewer knows who is in the picture and who took it.

At the age of 70, Minkkinen was just awarded the 2015 Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and is currently finishing work on his 8th book. The photographer opens his first-ever solo show in Chicago tomorrow evening at Catherine Edelman Gallery titled 7 8 9 0 1, featuring a range of both old and new portraits. You can see more from the exhibition here.

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Hands and Feet, White Sands, NM, 2000. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

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Väisälänsaari, Finland, 1998. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

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Oulujärvi Afternoon, Paltaniemi, Finland, 2009. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

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Mouth of the River, Fosters Pond, 2014. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

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Asikkala, Finland, 1992. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

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10.10.10, Fosters Pond, 2010. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

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Fosters Pond, 2000. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

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Le Bouquet d’Arbres, Malmö, Sweden, 2007. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery

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Beach Pond, Connecticut, 1974. Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery