My self portraits have mostly been random and experimental, but always incredibly meaningful to me. Any self portrait artist will probably tell you they’ve learned a lot about themselves through their SP work. If you ever have a clear plan going in to a SP session, you will likely come out with a new and unexpected understanding of ‘who you are’. There are also a range of emotions you experience during the process. Empowerment, pride (you took some cool images completely blind) and escape, but also doubt, guilt, narcissism, embarrassment ( maybe ‘cause there are some ridiculous and ugly photos in there, ha ;) ). I realize it sounds like more negative emotions than positive, but usually the empowerment and self-discovery greatly out-weigh everything else.
So, almost every set of self portraits I’ve taken over the last several years has included flowers and/or some sort of image manipulation (double exposure, delayed, or in this sets case the kaleidoscope lenses). It’s not just my easy ‘go-to’ selfie style, it simply feels like ‘me’. And I have tried many times to veer away from this style because it feels artistically redundant.. but I realize this is MY art, and it’s the best way I know how to exercise artistic self-expression. Throughout my adult life I’ve either had a distorted perception of beauty, or a deeper understanding of it. At times I indulge in my femininity. I feel most liberated and empowered when I am connecting with this side of myself. As a woman I feel that our femininity is a gift. I have also, at times, felt intimidated and/or threatened by the femininity of others. It has been confusing and something I’ve worked through (and continue to do so). But I do feel healthy about the way I embrace my femininity. The hardest part is letting go of the guilt I’ve inherited from somewhere (many places) for expressing and sharing it.. and I continue to struggle with that – but I also continue to remind myself that I’m an artist, and what is an artist without the luxury and responsibility of self expression? When we share our private selves, we connect with others, even if it’s in silence.
I think what I get out of these images is my internal struggle between self judgment and self celebration.. There’s always a struggle between beauty and darkness, and there is also a beauty in darkness and vice versa. Flowers are fresh and beautiful but they die (and usually replaced).. and most of us have a natural, human fear of that. Not just that physical beauty dies but that everything beautiful (life, love, passion, etc.) has a shelf life and we are all afraid of losing the things we love. Most art is about the human struggle, and this is mine. <3
As far as this set goes- I’m totally late to this kaleidoscope lens trend! But whatevs- I really enjoyed this SP session and adore the images. <3 <3