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Self Portrait (Selfie and Studio Floor)

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acrylic and bondo on fiberglass
96 x 84 x 4 in. (243.8 x 213.4 x 10.2 cm)

About This Artwork

Los Angeles–based artist Alex Israel both critiques and participates in the contemporary phenomenon of self-branding. Self-Portrait (Selfie and Studio Floor) is a plain examination of personal identity in an era of gratuitous stylization, when selfies and public image feed a self-mythology. In the work, Israel photographs himself in his studio then turns the image into a painting in the shape of his own silhouette. Here, wearing his own line of sunglasses (an accessory that carries an air of celebrity with a faint whiff of anonymity), Israel exposes the romanticism behind the notion that the studio is a place where self-consciousness gives way to creative freedom. Notions of sincerity and authenticity dissolve in Israel’s icon-like painting.