I took these photographs yesterday when I was spontaneously inspired to create a series of self-portraits. I have this lamp that I LOATHE because it hurts my eyes, as well as everyone else’s eyes who sits near it. Therefore, there is no lightbulb currently in its socket. But, I do love the fragmented mirror pieces that spiral to create a beautiful effect. I’m not sure why anyone would ever think this would make for a great lamp… but it makes for a great experiment with photographic self-portraiture. If you have never heard of Cindy Sherman, look her up… especially, her Untitled Film Stills. She basically studied films and created a series of self-portraits, none of which include her own identity. She was toying around with the ways women have been portrayed all over the world in films. I love her and if I were producing this work for a gallery, I’d write more. So, that is why I encourage each of you who view this post to look into her more. She is currently teaming up with the makeup company MAC (who she says is a makeup company for freaks… and individuals. She is obviously a fan). Her work is highly conceptual and so, I wished to play off of her work in Untitled Film Stills. This mirror was perfect because I saw my face in multiples… thus, the emphasis in facial expressions are more pronounced than they would be in an ordinary mirror. I set my camera on a tripod, but I had trouble keeping my head out of the way. At first I was frustrated, but then I decided this was a challenge in which to work with. And, I ended up liking the ones, with my physical head showing, the most. I feel as if the strongest photograph is the one I posted at the top. I love the expression… and I love how I’m looking off into the distance. I experimented with different facial expressions and poses… all a part of my own identity, unlike Sherman’s work.
I love how the mirrored lampshade allows for variations in cropping. In other words, although my facial expression is the same in each frame, each fragment contains a different cropped version of that expression. This allowed me greater room for producing meaning within these compositions. I am a goofball who never likes to make normal smiles in photographs… a personality trait that frustrates my friends who want pretty pictures… but to me, weird facial expressions make a photograph far more interesting. I just hate boring, I guess you could say. I was going for theatrical… but I’m no actress and these are my own identity seen in multiple frames. Some show my whole face, while some only reveal small portions; and others display my hands. I was having fun with this… it is hard to take myself seriously enough to create self-portraits so I’m trying to work with myself in these as well. I want to invite the viewer in to perhaps imagine my thinking behind these compositions… I wanted to force viewers to slow down and think basically. Photography is not just about pretty pictures… it is an art form… and I do not wish to be a craft nor design artist (though I respect both and enjoy both greatly). Plus, I love how this lamp alluded to the John Lennon song that my blog is titled after. I hope you enjoy these photographs. Thanks y’all. 🙂
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