Look at me! Self-Portrait Photography after Cindy Sherman

Mia will be our guide on this article. Just a few questions to begin the discussion.

1. What are some of the underlying assumptions of this article? For example, the nature of identity is constructed, etc.
2. Who is Nikki S. Lee’s audience? Why does she choose photography as her medium?
3. In discussing the work of Goicoleas, the author states: “Vanity is the backbone of all art;….look at my view of the world….it is more accurate, more beautiful, than yours.” Discuss.
4. What if Raphael chose to focus on self-obsession and sexuality? In other words why is Goicolea’s work so “time sensitive?” Could he have been a High Renaissance artist?
5. Why are Goicolea’s works so poignant? Do you agree with the author’s following gender characterization that “the adolescent sexuality of females has been much more accessible territory than that of males?” (50)
6. A conceptual self-suck—-yikes! Discuss this twist of art historical analysis with regard to Goicolea’s work.
7. David Henry Brown, Jr. employs a different art making strategy than Nikki Lee. Contrast their approaches to mainstream culture.
8. Do you detect a certain underlying arrogance in Brown’s work? Is classism the last “ism” to be practiced in polite company?
9. What do these artists owe Cindy Sherman and her self-portraits?

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4 responses

  1. This article is a fun read! Dalton does a good job of engaging her readers, although she could more readily identify how these artists follow Cindy Sherman’s example…

    Things to ponder:
    1. How does this article tie into our other readings thus far, especially in terms of women creating their own image,the gaze, portrait photography?

    2. How does Goicolea draw in viewers? How does the artists work demonstrate “mediated desire as a hall of mirrors”?

    3. Whose work do you respond to most?
    4. Dalton write that Brown’s portraits are handicapped by a polarized model of contemporary culture: intellectuals vs uneducated, urban vs. suburban, good taste vs bad taste. (54) Do you agree? Where does Brown belong?

  2. What do these artists owe Cindy Sherman and her self-portraits?
    I do not think these artists specifically owe anything to Sherman other than working with self portrait and choosing their medium as photography. I think Sherman’s work in general is more elaborate than any of the artists stated and more respectful towards its audience than Brown’s work.

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