Self Portrait (Selfie and Studio Floor)
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.