“The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself.” - Paul Cezanne
The portrait exercise was extremely difficult in the sense that it was very confronting and almost intimidating as I chose to focus on one side of my face. Once again, this specific task also allowed for quite a lot of broad observations as I decided to explore a more artistic and marketable point of view and delve deeper into the psyche of myself.
One inspiration for this, was how in the original portrait, the colourful imagery on my wardrobe seems as though it is being blasted out of my head, prompting a more personalised feeling as my thoughts and interests are visibly perceptible. I created an image using a tacky little app on my phone called ‘pics art’ which allows for me to style a collage containing the inspirational images of my choice, which best highlight the most basic, and quite frontal personality traits. I was careful not to give away anything too personal as I dislike the fact that there may be nothing left of me once somebody has ‘figured me out’. I began with architecture, which I would like to think is an integral part of me. Not only am I incredibly passionate about the ultimate design of a building and the integration of a structure, but also how it can persuade my design piece. Are all my collages positioned equally? How creditable is the design and how accurate does it portray my imaginings? I chose architecture as it does encapsulate my life in a profound, though subconscious way, as I am not always aware of how much it influences how I do things.
By super imposing my original portraits over these images and fading them into each other, combines my headspace and visually allows the audience to view my thoughts with their eyes other than with their eyes, as I would rather show instead of tell. This exercise also helped me to be less introverted and mysterious about a lot of things, and was very confrontational to which I learned to grow and accept. The 60’s and 70’s are such an incredible time which has very much gained my attention, especially over the past few years. Film, fashion and the whole ethereal air of that era, provides much comfort for me and brings a lot of peace and acceptance to my personality. I am sick so of talking about myself. Singers such as Janis Joplin from that era, and ephemeral singers such as Florence Welch from our own era, who resemble an old soul vibe resonate with me deeply, as a singer. Whether it is Joplin’s grit and raw talent, Welch’s wraithlike presence and tone or the genius authenticity of her lyrics, both women bring something very strong to me as something I look for in people, or even hope to achieve within myself. A sense to unite people with music, words and the visual. This exercise only allowed me to portray the visual, to which I hope is uniting and peaceful in the tones I have used to accentuate the balance of emotion in my life. Colours such as blue, a tinged brown, black and white or red accompany the colour of my clothing from my original portend the congruous and plain temperament of the collage. The colours also contribute to the marketability.
The large and ever expanding book case, elucidates my passion for reading, writing and literature as a whole and with my portrait faded into the image, it portends metaphorically that my ‘head is in the books’. This trait can also be deeply acknowledged that imaginatively I live inside my head most of the time, as an introvert where I can create a whole new world through the influences of the books I have read, or just for comfort when I am not feeling as safe realistically. This also combines the symbolism of realism and surrealism which I have tried to depict with the making of the collage and its faded and blurred effects. The water image resembles something more than just water and how much I love swimming or just feeling it around me, but more intricately shows how free spirited, resourceful and fluidly calm I am as a person. I am also obsessed with how paradoxically; the things that can make us happy in life can also kill you, such as water. Virginia Woolf is such an inspirational writer who I find myself stumbling upon again and again from childhood through till now. I like to find beauty in things where most people might not believe beauty really exists, and I find that Woolf’s idea of madness and how she could completely free herself from all thought fill her pockets full of stones and walk graciously into the river, where she then died, almost mesmerizing. There is something organically sensual about reading these sorts of moments, which are also fearful, but as I don’t like to dwell on something barbarically negative such as suicide, I would like to see it as a connection to the Earth, the only place she felt stable. The lantern represents the almost quirky side by also showing the style of which I enjoy best, a rustic warehouse sort of building.
It was quite easy to assemble these images and super impose them on top of each other. By relaying back to the 60’s and 70’s and being highly captivated by the advertisements of their time and artistic developments such as album cover art and political posters, I was able to craft an image that not only defined the minuscule though outward personality traits of mine in a marketable and visually appealing way.