Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Favorites: Self Portraiture

My "favorites" post this week was sparked by a perfectly simple and striking image: a photographer turns the camera lens to her own face, closes her eyes, and produces a self portrait loaded with beautiful tension. The conflict between vulnerability and openness made it one of my favorite photos in all my many, many hours loving my Instagram stream. In the bulk of the series, she's looking away from the camera, and if she faces it, she's usually deflecting the "gaze" with humor. (She's fantastically goofy.) Erin's self portraits feel a lot like her writing- I've been reading her blog for years and I adore the rawness of her writing. She's darkly funny. Hilarious. The mood of her work is perfect when you need a palate cleanser after reading fluffy-sweet mommy blogs, the kind with sponsored posts by Disney or Swiffer and filled with organic bento lunches. The self portraits seem almost reluctant, and they feel radically honest because of it.

On the other end of the spectrum stylistically and thematically, Alexis uses heavy processing and layering to explore a deeply spiritual experience of self. Her Dryad and Mermaid series use magical ideas but showcase natural elements woven it into her own image. The result is a body of work with massive but gentle power.

Both artists have worked with selfies as a daily practice, and they touched something really lovely and filled with meaning. I love finding Big Awesome Art on a medium that's dedicated to small moments and prolific snapshots- again, that obsession with tension and contraries. Blame William Blake. So here are my favorite four portraits from each series. Follow OhHonestlyErin and AlexisYael on Instagram, and see the rest of the lovely portraits.

Alexis Yael blogs photos, poems, and life stories at 
Erin writes at Oh Honestly Erin and sells Anti-Hallmark cards at Non Compos Cards.

1 comment:

  1. Totally honored to be featured on your wonderful blog. Thank you for taking the time to do this! I'm looking forward to checking out Alexis's blog now too ;)