Thursday, November 7, 2019

Asheville Art Museum, Self-Portrait Installation





In late August  I worked with an art handler at the Asheville Art Museum (thanks, Ian Brownlee) to install a selection of my self-portraits for the exhibition, Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia.  I brought all my self-portraits into the space – around 2,000 at that point – and I selected 80 that I felt adequately represented the first six years of this ongoing practice. 

(The lower right portrait is a collaborative self-portrait that was made in one of my self-portrait workshops.)

Earlier in the summer I had the opportunity to talk about self-portraiture with a group at the Asheville Art Museum. After the presentation I attempted to draw a composite that represented all the participants of the group, and the overall feeling of the day.


Several people allowed me to draw their portraits, and in one situation I combined my features with a male participant's face which is something I do on occasion.


A few people contributed their own self-portraits and drawings that they made on site. I really wanted everyone from the group to be represented, and since time was limited I requested that anyone who hadn't been drawn leave something with me that I could add to the final piece – detritus from their pockets, etc. I received candy wrappers, old AAM membership cards, ticket stubs, among other things. A couple of people simply added their fingerprints to the substrate.


Self-portrait: 6-26-2019, 22" x 28" charcoal, pencil, acrylic and mixed media

I arranged and glued everything in place later that evening. The final composite is installed with the other self-portraits at the museum, and I'll be adding more composite portraits from public sessions occurring: Wednesday, November 20, 3–5pm & Wednesday December 4, 4–6pm (pay what you want admission.)
More information here.



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