As I posted in an earlier post, I used to paint a self-portrait every year and named the series “state of the art”. At some point, I stopped doing it and now have been doing it again for 3 years. And hopefully for as long as I can hold a brush.
Of course, this project is less about portraying myself as realistically as possible. I would be perfectly recognizable in the picture – it wouldn’t be enough as a passport photo though. On the contrary, it is about my respective “mental state”, my respective world view, my view of myself, and being as a person. And this aspect is, at least for me, subject to ongoing changes. So it makes sense to reflect on it every year.
When I started this work I was immediately very happy with the concept and the first steps and expected a good job. When I continued painting the next day, I was lost. I was annoyed (which rarely happens) because someone tried to cheat me with a nasty trick. (I’m still running my online trade and after 20+ years of doing this, I know basically all the tricks. And this one was a good one. But mostly I was annoyed with myself because I almost fell for it). And so I wasn’t concentrating, didn’t make sure the ink was dry all over the picture and now my stupid fingerprints are all over the bottom part of the picture. Not only can this not be corrected, but above all the depth effect suffers. It’s not that bad, but I hate sloppiness in art.
I went on and tried to salvage what could be salvaged. Well, it has its charms, sure. The painted red elements, which are vaguely reminiscent of Asian characters, stand in attractive contrast to the expressive design of the face.