In mid March 2010, I publicly challenged myself to paint 30 self portraits in 30 days and post each one of them as my Facebook profile image once it was done. I succeeded in painting 30 paintings and I learned that, even when I'm painting, I'm really performing.
Here is my Artist's Statement from the show:
Everything is a self-portrait. A diary. Your whole drug history's in a strand of your hair. Your fingernails. The forensic details. The lining of your stomach is a document. The calluses on your hands tell all your secrets. Your teeth give you away. Your accent. The wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. Everything you do shows your hand. --Chuck Palahniuk (Diary)
This is a performance. It's my attempt at capturing who I am within the constraints of 30 days, 30 pieces of paper, and some paint.
Performances are a sort of slow dialogue. And each portrait in this project is a conversation. They don't live in a vacuum. they're molded by likes, and comments ... and silence.
The first 23 paintings were done in 16 days using an 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 Moleskine watercolor notebook and a small field watercolor kit. The final 7 paintings were painted over 14 days on 8 1/2 x 11 Yupo using a few more brushes and watercolors.
With each post, my community of Facebook friends chimed in. Sometimes with praise (i.e. "This one's my favorite.") and sometimes with distaste ("I'm going to have nightmares tonight.").
In the end, what started as a personal challenge, became a community dialogue. So, to end the project, I invited followers of the project to come to The Twin Oaks Collective's Apt 118 Gallery for a one-night exhibition of all 30 paintings. The evening was a great way to say goodbye to the project and spend some time looking at some other faces.
Here are images of all the paintings from LOOK AT ME: