Constructing the Self
oil on canvased wood
9.25 x 7.5 x 7.5 in.
Portraiture has the ability to create connections with viewers through their familiarity. However, often times they only portray themselves the way they want to be seen. Physical appearances only define the idealized self. My current body of work challenges that idea by representing both the subject’s staged persona (their “ideal”) alongside their hidden, inner realities they often hide away.
By using myself in my paintings, I take control of the gaze’s agency and put myself out there to be looked at. Using myself in a variety of personas also shows how identity can be fluid, as mine is throughout my body of work.
As my paintings deconstruct identity, they also rebuild the figures and challenge viewers to look beyond the façade. By employing the same degree of realism to the exterior and interior selves, my paintings ask viewers to question what is real and what is not. In some cases, the interior reality may be more telling than the external one.
© Marisa Andropolis