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.

Tag: David Lynch

The artist photobooths.

Francis Bacon - Three Portraits

Three Portraits – Posthumous Portrait of George Dyer, Self-Portrait, Portrait of Lucian Freud painted in 1973 by Irishman Francis Bacon actually portrays the artist twice: as the seated figure in the middle section of the triptych and as the black & white photograph above his late partner George Dyer, on the left.

Bacon produced at least 45 self-portraits, often in series, as here. Unlike artists favouring mirrors, he liked to get his features from snapshots he took largely in photobooths. Witness the Four Studies for a Self-Portrait (1965) below.

Francis Bacon photo booth

Francis Bacon 1965

(David Lynch, featured in the previous post, stated that if he could choose to be portrayed by any artist, he would pick Bacon, “because he catches things beneath the surface.”)

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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?)