Self Portrait 1/9, 2009
Brent Holland, (American, b. 1978)
Oil on wood panel
Gift of Ingrid Lilligren. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
The face of this self portrait is not so much altered or stylized, but rather a seemingly hyper-realistic depiction of a person and their emotional state, in this case the artist himself. Staring directly at the viewer, this self portrait takes no pains to smooth any lines, filter blemishes, or soften the gaze of the subject. How does self-reflection change the focus of what is depicted, or noticed when analyzing one’s own body? The small marks, scars and the intense gaze of the figure could be a very realistic depiction of the painter, or is the face enlarged and accentuated to mirror the focus individuals can have on our “flaws” but often gone unnoticed by anyone else?