William O’Connor
“All Art is Self Portraiture” 
One of the first assignments that I always give to my students is to produce a self portrait.  This seems like a fairly benign assignment, simply get a mirror and paint yourself.  But the ability of the artist to see the truth is never more starkly realized when challenged to paint herself.  Do you paint yourself as you appear to yourself?, as you appear to others?, as you would like to appear?, or to some more abstract truth as to how you feel, or how you live your life?  This challenge is one of the greatest hurdles that artists throughout the centuries have wrestled with.  In this age of Social Media how we depict and present ourselves as artists is more relevant than ever. Below is a brief survey of how some of Art Histories greatest artists depicted themselves.  This is Art History’s profile pictures.  What does each self portrait say about the artist and how they perceive themselves, and wish to be perceived by others?   Enjoy.
 Frida Khalo
 Edvard Munch
 Edward Hopper
 Eric Fischl
 Albrecht Durer
 Andy Warhol
 Paul Cezanne
 Chuck Close
 Ernst Kirchner
Eugene Delacroix
 Oskar Kokoschka
Lucian Freud
 William Bouguereau
Henri Matisse
Piet Mondrian
 Alice Neel
 Pablo Picasso
 Lawrence Alma Tadema
Cindy Sherman
 Vincent Van Gogh
James Whistler
NC Wyeth

The eye of the artist is most challenged when forced to look inward upon himself.  If you have not painted a self portrait, I encourage you to do as many of the great masters of the past have done, and try to paint yourself honestly, its harder than it looks.

Remember that Nov. 1st is Self Portrait Day.  Check out the facebook page:

Self Portrait Day@Facebook

Go Forth and Learn.