Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Art Aesthetics of a Selfie

What I am is what I am. No ambiguity. 
below: Selfie painted by Nayda A. Cuevas

Can this be what the selfie trend presents?
The selfie is a quick self portrait created with a smart phone camera and immediately distributed into social media. It becomes an instant communication of what I am doing where I am, who I think I am and who is watching.

As an artist the selfie trend contains aspect I am interested in.  Artists have used themselves as subjects to be displayed and create self portraits for many reasons; Like…
  1. we are all always there on time and can sit for long periods of time
  2. we also like to show off our skills in painting
  3. we need to reveal something inner to the outside world in the most vivid way we know how
 portrait below: Alice Neel
 below: Chuck Close self portrait

Once the painted portrait is complete we make it public. Similarly to the selfie, a painted portraits primary purpose is to be seen now, by other people, and most of them strangers.  Selfies are seen in social networks and so is art, but art is also viewed in art galleries and Museums.  The difference in theses space/environments is its prestige. There is a perceived notion of power and beauty that exudes from portraiture because they are understood to serve a special purpose and will become public

Can I as an artist, take your approved selfie uploaded onto social network seen by all and give it additional light and prestige by painting your portrait and bringing it into an art context?

I paint people because I am drawn to features, body language, and forms of expression. A selfie is carefully articulated vision of who we choose to be on any given day and moment. It is the ultimate representation of the way we want the world to see us now.  
The definition and purpose of art is constantly transforming. Merging old traditions in art and modern trend keeps art contemporary.

What can your selfie aspire to be?

Notes taken from: New York Magazine, Feb 3, 2014 and Newsweek.com 10/17/2013

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Just read Richard Brilliant, Portraiture. Reading these different views shed a light into the human psyche and in popular culture. As I move forward with my portraits I have many things to consider. Most importantly “subject”. Being clear that a selfies is not considered a work of art and that it is a current popular trend, I would like to address its insignificance and impermanence by painting them.  I will address the initial judgment of the portrait by painting them as realistically as I can and thus creating a recognizable portrait painting.  The issue of how the sitter is portrayed as been initially addressed because the subject has selected how they wish to represent themselves. What is left for me is time to remove myself from this fast paced world of images and create a lasting permanent image in history.  I in turn make the selfie a work of art to be admired and remove it from the vast hole of images in the web. I become free in my self indulgent and necessary act to paint and remove myself from the world to create a portrait with the intention to signal an individual’s presence in life.  I believe we all want to be noticed, because a part of us wants to be approved by our peers, family and or society, otherwise the selfie would not be a trend. I do think we, as a person or artist, need a viewer to exist.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

After painting sooo small for a couple of weeks I was itching to paint another large portrait. I kept it simple raw white canvas. It was really freeing and I find my 2 year old model amazingly beautiful!