Tuesday, July 26

Gillian Wearing's Self-Portraits

Self-Portrait at 3 years old

I will never be able to get over Gillian Wearing's series of self-portraits. The series is one of my favorite photographic works of art. They just blow my mind every time I see them.

For those unfamiliar, Gillian Wearing is a contemporary British artist (part of YBA) who mainly uses photography and video to capture aspects of human life. Most likely her most well known series, "Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say" was a set of photographs she had taken of random people she met on the street. Wearing asked them to write down something spontaneous on a piece of paper and the results were a surprising mix of human emotion; fear, loneliness, truth. Gillian Wearing, throughout all of her work, aims to seclude universal human feeling and action. Whether she's documenting teenage behavior (Broad Street, 2001), exposing subtle discomfort (Sixty Minute Silence, 1996), or even dancing in a public place for herself (Dancing in Peckham, 1994), Wearing's work seduces the public because they can relate to it. It's just too human.

But Wearings most amazing pieces are her photographs with masks. Her self-portrait series consists of her re-creating family photos with handmade masks. She poses as her mother, her father, her brother, her grandparents, and even herself as a teenager. There's something so funny about titling a piece "Self-Portrait as My Mother," right? I just love them so much!


HeyItsAlexP said...

Wow...the fact that these portraits are all the same person is blowing my mind! Those are some really good masks!

And this is a very cool blog btw :D

Patricia said...

I remember coming across her work via that self portrait she did as Lily Cole, because for some reason that unsettled me no end. But I think that "self portrait at 3 years old" just totally unseated that. There's something simultaneously friendly and a bit creepy about the eyes of all of them, though.

Paloma Rose said...

I saw Self-Portrait at 3 years old in the Guggenheim Museum and it's one of the most captivating pieces I've ever seen. I love the concept. I love your blog!

enterrement de vie de jeune fille said...

Impressionnant, le premier et le cinquième portrait sont d'une telle puissance !!!