Self-Portraits 

February 2018

Over the last few years, my practice has been investigating the body through focusing on issues surrounding weight and body shape as well as the discrimination of the oversized and obese in modern culture and media. I have previously investigated using the self as a way to familiarize the body depicted with the audience. 

 

The collection of portraits here are of myself in front of a computer’s camera. They are drawn over various time lengths and with various mediums; HB and 4B pencils, colour pencils, and watered down acrylic paint but all with the same front facing, staring pose. I am interested in the way the face changes and shifts over the progression of a life drawing, as well as the imperfections in proportions which relates to issues that women have about their faces and bodies.

 

I have been researching Alice Neel, who painted black activists and supporters of the women’s rights movement until her death in 1984. Her portraits are emotional and capture the personas of her subjects. Like Vermeer who painted Realism in his studio, I want to depict women within the realm of Social Realism – the people and environments within are portrayed as true to the scene as possible. 18th century French artist Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin also portrayed still life’s in what seems like a working kitchen. He did not “pretty up” the scenes as many painters of his time did.

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 © 2019 by Ella Ranfft, Auckland, New Zealand

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