Self Portraits: Using Who I Am For What I’m Not

I don’t look like this:

Open

Or like this:

Aged

I don’t look like this either:

Dr. Mercury

Or this:

Day Six: The Magus

Or this:

Day Fifty Six: Yellow

When people who follow my photography meet me for the first time often they don’t recognize me.  One of the most common comments I get is: “You don’t look anything like your photographs.”

And it’s true. I work hard to get it that way. Self Portraiture is about different things to different artists, but most frequently it seems to center around discovering, or revealing something about the self. The idea being that the artist is telling the viewer something about who they are. While I’d never say that you couldn’t figure out something about me from my self portraits, my purpose is not to tell you about myself, but to create characters and stories, using my body as a hanger I can put them on.

My 365 Days project was all about this concept. I’ve been thinking about it a lot as I finish up the book and as I work on my new self portrait project, Abundant.  Don’t be surprised if you can’t see much of me through the makeup, costumes and lighting. It’s not about showing you who I am, it’s showing you all the things a person CAN be. I believe that we are flexible creatures, and that within us their are many characters, good and evil, old and young, and when I use myself as a model, I’m working to bring them to life.

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3 thoughts on “Self Portraits: Using Who I Am For What I’m Not

  1. One of the most striking things that comes through in imagery, posts, and in person (the few moments when I met you at Balticon) is your uninhibited courage to be creative. The bravery to use oneself as a slate or hanger is amazing, and it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy your art so very much.

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