Self Portrait 1; Self-portrait underwater with an X-ray

4 Jan

Self-portrait underwater with an X-ray


“Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?”   – Pablo Picasso

It seems to me that all artists should try a self-portrait at least once. Some – like Rembrandt and Francis Bacon, many, many times. There are certain advantages, you can, for example insult your subject without offending anyone, distort, be truthful, and lie about them without fear of recourse. Of course the model is always available and doesn’t complain about how long you are taking – always an advantage. On the other hand to look with an artist’s honest eye at yourself, explore your own soul, possibly find things you don’t like, even magnify them and flaunt them, can be confronting. Here you are, showing the world how you see yourself, opening gates to the scorn of the hoi polloi. But – you can still throw it away at the end if you don’t like it. Speaking of which, the advice I received from an artist I admire was to publish and be damned. People must realise that artists do a lot of work and not all of it is high quality, the audience must see the bad with the good. And I agree with that, provided the quality of the work still reaches a certain standard, which is hard to define.

What is my experience so far? I find a unique psychological understanding that occurs when I look into my own eyes. The process is one of self discovery and realisation. It is introspective, particularly since you try to show your subject in a way that no-one has ever seen them before. I have the impression that I’ve not done my best work here, but it is a stepping stone.

I invite people to comment on this with their experience, or even to tell me what they think of the image. Where should I go from here? 

10 Responses to “Self Portrait 1; Self-portrait underwater with an X-ray”

  1. leecleland at 12:46 pm #

    I am fascinated by this self portrait. I love that there is one eye looking straight at the viewer and we know it is you because we can see enough of the moustache to recognise a link to your gravatar. Again the inclusion of the X-ray is your signature mark. Underwater and writing lead me to believe these are other things you enjoy in your life. I could rabbit on more but just finally want to say, I find mystery hidden in this image above and beyond what is first seen and as a first self portrait posted I look forward to many more.

    • Xraypics at 12:30 am #

      Thanks for the insightful comment Lee, It’s a first essay and there’s something more emerging than originally intended, interesting how art can be so revealing. Perhaps the person in the image is trying to make a personal contact. Who knows. I shall go on exploring, thanks for your insight. Tony

  2. Anita C. Miller at 1:12 pm #

    Hi Tony, I agree with the previous comment. This is very fascinating and provocative. I feel like you are hiding and at the same time trying to “come to the surface”. I think portraits are probably the most powerful of images. I particularly love Rembrandt’s series of self-portraits. They are timeless, I think.

    • Xraypics at 12:26 am #

      Hey Anita, Thankyou so much, your comment is much appreciated, as you can imagine it’s a new venture and I’m a little delicate. There is certainly a measure of emerging from the depths – that’s what I’m feeling about my art after what seems like hundreds of years of doing other things. It wasn’t intended but it came out. Is this another form of psychoanalysis??? Tony

      • Anita C. Miller at 1:02 am #

        Possibly… I can’t wait to see more! I think I may try some self portraits, but they won’t be as psychologically loaded as yours. Thanks for the inspiration, Tony : )

  3. Your blue eye is riveting…..& I enjoy that the x-ray is not predominant. We paint who we are, & this is a gentle image with many depths spoken through the eye. Very nice & keep exploring your soul. I think that’s what you are showing here.

    • Xraypics at 12:23 am #

      Him Deanna, Thankyou for your comment, I’m delighted that you liked the picture. Cheers, and thanks for visiting, Tony

  4. annerose at 4:31 am #

    Hi Tony This is wonderful. I feel a quiet positive cheerful sense from this artwork, the same sense I get from your writing, so I think it’s you. I like the colour and the blue “script” water. I agree self-portraits are scarily revealing but keep going!

  5. burgessart at 7:32 pm #

    Good one Tony……don’t judge your own work……just put them away and keep going. Let the work show you “the way”… will.
    Picasso kept his major work Les Demoiselles d’Avignon…. which is widely considered to be a seminal work in the early development of both cubism and modern art, hidden for years
    best wishes, Robert

    • Xraypics at 10:01 pm #

      Encouragement greatly appreciated Robert. Many thanks I’ll try not to be too judgemental. When I see the breadth of your work I realise how important it is to spreading my wings. Cheerio. Tony

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