Yesterday’s portrait (Self Portrait in Three Quarters) was the inspiration for today’s. I separated the two planes of my face by rendering the part in shadow as a deep blue and the other in flesh tones. The Cubists broke up the structural space of their compositions with line and plane, but also with color (Jawlensky and the Serial Image by Shirley Hopps and John Coplans, Regents University 1966).
I follow that same line of reasoning in today’s self portrait, but there is more than breakup of space in this portrait.
Those of you new to my blog must be aware that my older brother Mike is autistic, very low functioning and has never spoken. Part of my makeup as a human being has been molded by trying to communicate with someone who is not reachable. Growing up and during my time around him as an adult, he only made me aware of his most basic needs such as hunger, and only as a tool to get what he wanted. I imagine Mike as always inward looking, and only attached to the outer world through animal necessity.
Since Mike and I are brothers, we have the same DNA from our parents. There is more to identity than DNA, but I always thought there was some of him in me.
Today’s self portrait contains two portraits, a recognizable face, lit by the real world and a flat-aspected silhouette. The eye within the silhouette looks inward.
I borrowed the eye in flesh-colored part of the composition, from the self portrait shown in the ‘Engaged‘ post. I wanted to engage with the viewer in today’s portrait. I also see myself as being partially obscured by my brother’s silhouette. But if this is a self portrait, it is I who am obscuring part of myself.
It was inevitable that my self portraits would eventually include Mike, or Mike’s influence on me. I hope I can keep on mining this vein of creativeness, as there seems to be a lot I can learn from it.