Monday, August 16, 2010

All Roads Lead Back To A Self Portrait


Some years ago I saw a thing on TV where a lab was running a test on some new facial recognition software.  They scanned in the Mona Lisa and the self portrait Leonardo Da Vinci did of himself.  Much to their surprise it returned with a really high percentage match.  They then deduced that the Mona Lisa was actually a self portrait as well.

When I saw this, I had a good laugh.  I don't think it's a self portrait, but I do think that if they compared any of his other portraits they would get the same results. 

One of the earliest lessons I learned as a fledgling artist all those years ago, was that everything we create is a self portrait.  It doesn't matter what you make or how far outside your comfort zone you go.  It will look like you in some way.  Now in the case of a portrait or sculpture it's easily discernible.

In other types of items it may not immediately jump out at the observer.  In fact it may not even resemble you physically, but it will resemble some part of your nature or personality if it doesn't resemble your face or body shape.  It's hardest to identify in your own work.  I suppose that's because we are too close to it. 

Every once in a while I get a glimpse of it in my own work.  I can see it in a bear if it stands just so or looks at me in a certain way while photographing it.  I can't quite ever put my finger on what it is that resembles me, I just know it does.  Maybe you can see it?

The one place I do see it is in my computer work.  I have been working on a new layout for my website again.  I decided I wanted to go back to that vintage feel, but I wanted to make something very different.  What I have been working on looks completely different than any of the last updates and yet...it's frustratingly the same.  You probably wouldn't notice it, but I do.  I want to go outside my box and make something fun and different from me, and I can't do it.

Normally I am a proponent of continuity.  I think it's terribly important.  Afterall we spend a large part of our early artistic lives trying to develop our own identifiable style.  The irony is, we can't really get away from it....we had it all along, all we can do is fine tune and perfect it.

Maybe I will just add a comfy sofa and some throw pillows inside my box...I am going to be here for the rest of my creative days...regardless how much I think I am changing things up.

4 comments:

Janet Ghio said...

The photo of Leonardo and the Mona Lisa is interesting. I know whenever I draw faces, they always tend to have long faces and noses--that's the way my face is!

The Littlest Thistle said...

Ha, I knew there was a reason my teddies are all rather, er, rotund lol

Kelly said...

Yeah I used to wonder if it worked in reverse, and I made thinner bears if I would lose weight! Didn't work! XD

All Bear said...

What an interesting perspective on an illusive equation! I think you're right Kelly, we just have to let ourselves evolve and maybe our work will follow.

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