Face to Face is the name given to an exhibition of self portraits with five artists who have used paint as their primary medium throughout their careers.
Self portraiture has a long and storied tradition. If you are an artist and have never created one I recommend giving it a shot. Most artists learn that they themselves can be their own most patient model. But regardless of patience, the quality of a self portrait is not related in any way with the effort that went into making it. If that were the case, all that would be required would be sufficient ambition, patience, and enough raw materials. Creating art doesn't work that way.
Creating a self portrait requires the artist to look inwardly and outwardly simultaneously. No other genre of art asks this of an artist so directly and with the results so blatantly apparent. I say directly here to emphasize how this differs from creating other forms of art.
Of course many artists argue that art of any format requires this dual perspective but self portraiture is special for one simple reason. A self portrait strips the artist of his insecurities and neatly packages them in the form of a painting and displays all of them for everyone to see. Self portraiture could best be described as an unrelenting form of realism. The best self portraits are imbued with an honesty that is uncanny. If a self portrait is sufficiently honest, then it most likely instilled some humility along the way.
I often tell my students who are worried about finding their own style of art that they shouldn't worry about this search and concentrate rather on the making of whatever it is they happen to be creating. I assure them that their own style is inside of themselves anyway and the best way to discover that innate talent is by working hard and looking at as much art as possible. For myself this discovery came about by painting a lot of self portraits. By creating these paintings I realized just how much more I need to see and learn about art.
The best self portraits depict a confluence of an artist's state of mind aligned with his passions and abilities and finally translated into materials. Considering the work in this show, the artists have paid many dues to their craft and profession. It was an honor to have been asked to exhibit my own work with this group of fine artists and it is a pleasure to see our work hanging together face to face.
[catalog text, via www.postartblog.net]