self portrait definition

When a creator presents himself as an artistic work, he is making a self-portrait. The concept of self-portrait is applicable to various disciplines, such as painting, sculpture, photography or literature.

In recent years, social networks have made a specific version of the self-image, the selfie, fashionable.

Examples in art history

In stone engravings in Ancient Egypt, artists already recorded themselves and this trend is known as the signature self-portrait.

The painter Vincent Van Gogh is known worldwide because his works are traded on the art market at very high prices. However, in life he was not recognized and lived in very precarious conditions. Unable to afford models to pose, she decided to paint thirty self-portraits.

The Mexican painter Frida Kahlo portrayed herself on many occasions and in all of them there are direct references to her personal situation, especially related to physical suffering and her love life.

In the book of poems "Campos de Castilla" the Spanish writer Antonio Machado describes himself in the poem Portrait. Throughout it there is an autobiographical journey about his life and literary career.

In American photographer Lee Friedlander has recorded his image in all kinds of everyday situations. In fact, in 1970 a book of self-portraits titled precisely "Self-Protait" was published.

The selfie is the self-portrait of the 21st century

On Facebook, Instagram and other social networks, the image itself has a unique role. We show our image in all kinds of situations to communicate something about our identity as individuals. This phenomenon has different motivations, since it is a fashion, but it also refers to the need to reaffirm ourselves and the inner inquiry about ourselves.

Selfies are common among the youngest, since adolescence is when you need to build your own identity. Another aspect related to selfies is the question of social comparison, since the self-image that is projected on social networks in a kind of permanent competition (the image receives a rating from others through the number of "likes" or from "retweets").

Photos: Fotolia - WoGi / Igor Zakowski