"The more you look, the more you see." - Self Portraiture and the Personal Essay - Student Version - (#SAAMTeach)
Text below, from The National Portrait Gallery: "Eye to I: Self Portraits from 1900 to Today."
Drawing from the National Portrait Gallery’s vast collection of self-portraits, this exhibition explores and thinks critically about how American artists have chosen to portray themselves over the past two centuries. Individuals featured in Eye to I have approached self-portraiture at various points in history, under unique circumstances, and using different tools, but their representations—especially when seen together—all raise important questions about self-perception and self-reflection. Some artists reveal intimate details of their inner lives through self-portraiture, while others use the genre to obfuscate their true selves or invent alter egos. Are we seeing mirror images? Or, are these portrayals refractions of modern identity that reveal artistry rather than personality?
As we are confronted each day with “selfies” via social media, and as we continue to explore the fluidity of contemporary identity, this is an opportune time to reassess the significance of self-portraiture in relation to our country’s history.
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