06
Oct
07

I’m just not that into me- a comment on self-portaiture

For some reason today I was reminded of the annual Graduation show for The Ottawa University Fine Art students. Every year the department throws a huge party and the entire building is transformed into a gallery for graduating students to showcase visual art.

For the most part the art on display at the Grad show is phenomenal but there were always a few notable exceptions. Students who received the most jeers were photographers whose final work consisted entirely of empty poster sized self-portraits.

Cindy Sherman’s Untitled 6 from her 1978 photo series that comments on the stereotypes of women protected in the media.

The cover of Cindy Sherman’s book “Centerfolds”

While self portraiture can be a noble, expressive, art that comments on our social world. Think Cindy Sherman. It can also be narcissistic if oneself is the only subject a photographer can find inspiration in.

On a personal level, I like to have my portrait taken and do feel that self-reflection is valid self-expression. However, I want my photographs be valued for their own meaning independent from mine. Yes, as photographers we do need to market ourselves and an attractive picture is a good tool for that.

The cover of Nan Goldin’s 1986 photography book “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”.

A photograph Goldin took after she had been beaten by her lover.

However, notable self portraits has meaning not for displays of beauty but instead for projections of a fully lived life. Displays of insecurity, sadness, love, hurt, and pain. Think Nan Goldin. The audience relates to the photographer through raw emotions as opposed to a produced aesthetic they project.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “I’m just not that into me- a comment on self-portaiture”


  1. 1 Luke
    October 6, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Dr. Joanna Rees,

    Something seems wrong with Nan Goldin…..why would she get beaten to just take a photo of it…unless she was projecting the shock value which is definately there!

    I guess sometimes life is not as pretty as we all like to think it is…..i would have to read more on Nan’s reasonings to putting up these photos. But i have no inclination on such destrubing topics.

  2. March 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Liebherr
    Good interpretation, but I think hardly could be apllied to life.
    ksoleifdjj388

  3. May 31, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I have been looking around jorees.wordpress.com and really am impressed by the amazing content here. I work the nightshift at my job and it really gets boring. I’ve been coming right here for the past couple nights and reading. I simply needed to let you know that I’ve been enjoying what I’ve seen and I look forward to reading more.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Jo’s tweets

Pages

RSS rss feed

  • Grow With HubSpot New York February 23, 2016
    The marketing software company HubSpot sponsored an event at Irving Plaza in New York, NY on Thursday February 18th to provide an overview of their services to potential clients and marketers. HubSpot markets through Web 2.0, social media, email marketing, CRM, and blogs. The event began at 2pm and began with a session on how […]
    Jo Rees
  • TCS NYC Marathon Long Training Run #1: Race review July 26th, 2014 August 14, 2014
    Pacers from the New York Flyers running club 20.9 miles 8’37” pace/mile time This was a very meaningful race that I’d trained hard for. I knew that running 20 miles along the rolling hills of Central Park was going to be a challenge. I wanted to finish and finish strong. The race began at 7am and […]
    Jo Rees
  • Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Race Review: 1:49:40, June 22nd 2014 August 14, 2014
    This was a special race as it took place in my hometown of Vancouver, BC. I had wanted to run a Vancouver race for a while and it was an absolute pleasure to run through UBC, West Van, and Stanley Park for 13.10 miles. The course began at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena and ran along SW […]
    Jo Rees
  • Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon: Race Review 3:58:18 August 14, 2014
    It was a great experience to run my first marathon at home in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois on April 26th. I decided to run with the 3:50 pace group and met a lot of interesting people on the course. Our pacer Steve had run 13 marathons in one year and I connected with others who traveled across […]
    Jo Rees
  • February 2014 April 12, 2014
    Here are some images from New York and Urbana, Il from February 2014 Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • PicFrame Collages March 17, 2014
    Here are photographs from our trip to Washington DC last weekend that are framed using the PicFrame app. Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • Photographs from January 2014 February 10, 2014
    Here are some images from Urbana, IL and New York, NY from January 2014 Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • Photographs from December 2013 February 9, 2014
    Images from the holidays in Urbana, IL and New York, NY   Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • Photographs from November 2013 February 9, 2014
    Here are some images from last November in Urbana, IL and New York, NY Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • Photographs from October 2013 February 9, 2014
    Here are some images from Urbana, IL from last October and early November Filed under: General
    Jo Rees

RSS rss comment feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS rss photography


%d bloggers like this: