Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wall of Me

I spent the day starting to organize my studio. This picture shows the one place where things look relatively settled. In trying to find space for the countless pieces of artwork I have, I decided to put all my self-portraits together on the wall. There are more, actually many more, but many of them are not ready to hang or are in the nude (a favorite school-era subject for me). I'm not interested in looking at myself without clothes every time I go into the room. At the time I was trying to come to terms with the way I looked. Even though I was modest to a fault in the flesh, so to speak, I seemed to get something out of making unflattering images of myself and presenting them to the public. It was a kind of nose-thumbing at physical beauty. The classes I attended with those young students was a real gift to me, and possibly to them. Working with them as equals despite the difference in age was an education in perception. The years melted away in most cases and we saw each other as just people. Their talent and intellect was equal or superior to mine and I enjoyed them no end because of their devotion to their art.

Only two of these portraits were done while I was in school.......the big one of me with Big Bird, and the white one to the far left, called "Self-Portrait with Headache and Bell Curve." At the time I had grown my hair very long and wore it in a braid down my back. As I was in my forties and quite over-weight, I was certainly pushing the envelope as far as acceptable appearance was concerned. Still, it was my late rebellious period....well, my coming out period, my self-discovery.

Lytton is doing better, and as I write he is beside me softly whining for his supper. I'm missing my chickens.
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