Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blue period

"Maybe  Cubism started this way. Memory re-arranging a face."

-- Mary Rakow, The Memory Room: A Novel

Self portrait 10-10-13

"Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter."

-- Pablo Picasso

"You want a Picasso? We got Picasso, big Picasso. 
Nobody can make heads or tails of it. 
It's a lion? No, a seahorse. Looks to me like a radiator with wings. 
Who gives a damn, people, a Picasso's a Picasso."

-- Peter Orner, Love and Shame and Love

This Picasso-inspired face is the end result of a combination of things.

First it was body painting. 
I covered my face, neck, ears, shoulders and hair with blue, lavender, white, gray and black paint. 

Then it was photography.
I took pictures of myself in the body paint against a sketchy background drawn in black Sharpie marker. I also took pictures of a chair.

Then it was collage.
I printed and then cut up several of the self-portraits, as well as a picture of the chair, arranged and re-arranged them, then glued them down.

Then it was drawing.
With colored pencil and marker, I sketched and outlined some parts of the glued-together collage.

Then it was photography again.
I shot a picture of the picture, and that's the face that became the end result.

La Vie, Picasso
I totally used Picasso as my jumping off point. Two of his works, in particular, inspired this face. One is called La Vie. It lives at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I visit every time I go to the museum. It's pretty much one of my favorite paintings of all time.

Untitled, Picasso

The other is this untitled Cubist portrait of a woman on a chair.
I didn't try to copy these paintings exactly.

They were just a starting place for my own personal riff on a self-portrait. But that doesn't mean I didn't copy. I fully confess to copying Picasso. But I feel like I sort of had permission to do so. I mean, he was the one who said:

"Good artists copy, great artists steal."

-- Pablo Picasso