Taking self-portraits has a lot to do with discovering your own demons, getting to know them. It’s a form of learning more about your inner world and a way of displaying this universe of the subconscious to a selected audience. I say ‘selected’ and I mean it in a sense that it consists of this circle of people who can read the signs that you are coding in the photograph, those who would be susceptible to reading most of the message you try to pass on or who can understand or be compassionate to the emotion which is being portrayed.
Self-portraiture is not only revealing, it is also concealing your inner self. It is so because it presents to you the opportunity to be someone else, to pretend to be a character very different to you, but also a character you are particularly interested in studying and presenting. Me and my self-portrait are and are not the same person. I am not my art but my art lives through me and I live through it.
I can give you example of one contradiction. People who know me in real life often notice I am a very smiley person. Which is not really the impression you get from my photographs.
In photography I find solace, I find passion, I find strength. Yes, it’s a process of learning, trial and error with a lot of frustration, depression, self-doubt but it’s totally worth it because it gives me something invaluable, it makes me feel I am truly living.
During this Christmas and New Year Holiday I had the chance to take series of self-portraits entitled ‘Insomnia’. When I was a teenager I used to sleepwalk, I was a bit scared of getting to sleep at that time. I would strain to keep my eyes open and stare into the warm darkness of the room for hours. I think those portraits might be a reflection of this period in my life. But I would like to think that anyone who looks at them can find something of his or her own in them, and can read them in their own way. I believe art is a trigger. It activates hidden emotions in you, it makes you reflect based on your own vision, memories and experiences. Maybe that’s the best part about art, it makes you feel closer to God as you are not a mere creation but a creator yourself…
The last two portraits are separate from the ‘Insomnia’ theme. ‘The Oracle’ self-portrait speaks about the burden which comes with knowledge and pain of bearing this responsibility and feeling helpless in the face of destiny. The other one – ‘Girl with green pears’ – is an attempt of playing with themes like ‘The little match girl’ and ‘Les Miserables’, it’s more of an experiment.
I hope you, friends, find this post interesting and I hope you do discover something for yourself through these series.