Exploring the Self: A Psychological Selfie Portrait Inspired by Art Exploring Identity: A Visual Portrait Inspired by an Artist

Group Discussion, Psychological Selfie Portrait. Your Post due Wednesday, Replies to classmates due Sunday
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Posts due on Wednesday by 11:59PM, 4 Replies to Classmates are Due Sunday by 11:59PM
Assignment Goals:
A Psychological Selfie PortraitThe selfie is so ubiquitous these days that all of our phones have “selfie” modes! The subculture of the selfie exploded with the onset of the mirror camera mode- and now, it would be difficult to find anyone that has a smart phone that does not know what a selfie is or how to use some filter to change their appearance. However, this practice has been around for hundreds of years, and was previously identified as a “self portrait”. The earliest that I can identify are from as far back as the Renaissance (1500’s). Not all artists worked in this mode, however, this practice is when we see artists reflecting back on themselves.
For this week’s discussion, you are going to create a psychological self portrait that is influenced by an artist from the textbook, and analyze it as an art historian might, or someone with a trained eye might, (like yours!).
A psychological self portrait gives us an insight into the emotions and feelings of the subject (you). It tells us of where you are at mentally and emotionally. Color, size, iconography, how much space your image takes up in the composition; all these elements together tell us the story of you, in that moment that the image is taken.
Prompt Guidelines:
Part 1 Creating the Perfect Image:
Take a photograph of yourself that is psychologically interesting. It MUST be inspired by an image from the textbook*. Use your phone’s camera settings to adjust the colors, zoom in, crop, etc. You can also use apps to transform your image; but be creative (there are some really interesting aging filters out there that are waaaaaay more interesting than putting on a kitten nose through Snapchat).
Food for Thought:Your selfie portrait must tell a story that you we all can interpret based on these elements:
1. Composition (Vantage point) are you central and up close? Significantly small and off-center? Zoom in! Or out!
Up close leaves no mystery, as opposed to far away
Central gives you the dominant role, off center may indicate a role reversal of central importance
2. Color; black & white, color saturation- vivid, faded. Use your phone’s camera settings to adjust the colors to suit the psychological interpretation.
Bright saturation may indicate a false intensity
Faded colors may indicate lack of emotion, loss
Black and white can tell of loss of vigor, or create extreme drama
3. Iconography: Props, clothing
Objects and types of clothing must add to the story of your mental and emotional status and lead to an interpretation.
Embedded Images:
Do not upload a document file, .pdf, .jpg and so on. Embed to images into the body of your prompt widow.
Wondering how to embed images? Watch this video:

Part 2 Written Analysis – Essay Format:
Your analysis of these two works of art should be evaluated in an essay format. Consider the following when crafting your essay:
A. Analyze your selfie based on the 3 elements:
B. Written Analysis Was the image you created successful? Does it create the psychological portrait you were hoping for? If so, why? If not, why not? (those that procrastinate don’t always doo as well)
C. Share the artist’s work that you took your inspiration from. This MUST be from the textbook. Is the inspiration evident? How was it inspired by the artist? Be specific.
Ok so now what was I supposed to do again? Make your own Psychological Self-Portrait using those cell phone cameras
Here are a few things you might consider doing:
A. You may create a fictitious character (a doppelgänger) like Cindy Sherman did. This broadens your possibilities. Make up a totally new you!
B. If you are camera shy, you may create a stand-in else that can be your model, but it must somehow be a representation of you visually.
C. Start by choosing an artist from the textbook as an inspiration; you do not have to copy them exactly, but you can do an homage.
D. Do a little research and put yourself in the artist’s shoes. For example, if you chose Frida Kahlo, consider why she made self-portraits and what kind of things she was trying to convey about herself (do a google search and look at more of her work).
Are you still lost, wondering how to even approach this? Take a look at someone else’s work:
Here is an example of this assignment done by some one else based in Cindy Sherman’s work.
This is Cindy Sherman:
Here is the Student work:
And here’s another one based on Caravaggio’s painting of Medusa from the Uffizi Gallery. This one is pretty meta because the original artist, Caravaggio, used his own face, in 1595, for his version of the beheaded Gorgo from Greek mythology:
This last example is based on an artwork called Your Body is a Battleground by Barbara Kruger. This student really invested some time into capturing the spirit of the original work of art.
Here are some tips:
Things to do:
Have fun.
Be creative.
Get someone to help you.
Use the timer mode on your phone, so…..no hands holding the phone. Make it a real portrait!
Things not to do:
No normal everyday selfies.
No environments/backgrounds that are vague or not directly related to your psychological portrait.
No waiting until the last minute. (Everybody can tell when you do).
The use of correct grammar is expected for all written material in this class; however I think that is essential that you write in a style that is conversational and that suits your personal voice. I fully support making sure that what you are writing sound like yourself. Just try to spend the time to be clear about the ideas you are trying to express. Make sure to include enough information to get your points across. I realize we live in a world of texts, emojis, and tweets and they are totally fine in other areas of your life, but in a college classroom, they just usually don’t provide enough information to fully explore ideas; so a little extra effort is a good idea.

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