Self-Portrait of the Artist

An untidy history of artists' representations of themselves in pretty much any form you can think of (painting & sculpture, poetry & prose, photo & film…) — updated every third day and open for suggestions.

Category: Cinema

The artist loves wood.

Lynch, David - Self-portrait 2012

Commenting on this self-portrait he produced in 2012 to raise funds for another documentary on himself (Lynch Three), David Lynch explained to the New York Times, last month: “It’s a portrait portraying my love of wood.”

As part of the same article (incidentally, on self-portraiture), the notoriously eclectic artist was commissioned a further self-portrait in a form of his choosing. He came up with the–“very Lynchean”–photo below.

Lynch, David - 2013

(Every self-portrait has a few fundamental questions at its core — What relationship does the artist-as-creator have with the artist-as-subject? Do the two find a balance? Or are they struggling against each other? And if they are, who is winning?)


Animated self-portraits.

In 1989 animator David Ehrlich asked eighteen colleagues to produce a twenty-second animation each representing themselves.

The directors are, in the order, Sally Cruikshank, David Ehrlich himself, Candy Kugel, Bill Plympton, Maureen Selwood (from the U.S.A.); Mati Kütt, Riho Unt, Priit Pärn, Hardi Volmer (Estonia, then U.S.S.R.); Jan Švankmajer, Pavel Koutský, Jiří Barta (Czechoslovakia); Bordo Dovnikovic, Joško Marušić, Dušan Vukotić, Nikola Majdak (Yugoslavia); and Kihachiro Kawamoto, Renzo Kinoshita and the “father of manga” Osamu Tezuka (Japan).

To me, it is particularly interesting how one can tell the shared features of each nationality.



The brief cameos in his movies were no doubt his most celebrated form of self-portrayal — but Alfred Hitchock also liked to add to autographs this sketch of his unmistakable, and well-publicised, florid profile.

His cameos earned him a page on Wikipedia and they can be found, diligently collected as clips, here.

However, a new one seems to have been discovered recently forty-four minutes into North by Northwest (1959), and though still somewhat debated, it is certainly appetising:


Hitchcock cameo 1Hitchcock cameo 2