Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait

Mixed Media 62" x 49" 1993

After doing all this anti-imperialist panther and police crap, I needed to get more personal. I did a self portrait series in my drawing pads (source for this image visible below). I've tended to do self portraits around periods of emotional distress. I'm in denial, let's get personal. This is my response. I was going to do this thing on "a missing child is everyone's responsibility"... but what it is, is just a self portrait. This one was made with my own hand. People respond to this. There isn't much theoretical baggage that goes along with this, it's just emotional.

It started out being a three part series. First would be "A missing child is." Second would be "everyone's" Third would be "responsibility." First would be about kids on the backs of milk cartons, why would people get all upset about these rare cases of stranger abduction, but ignore the overwhelming rape incest and domestic violence. What does this say about our culture, who shapes what we think? Why is it that male survivors of sexual abuse respond very different than female survivors? They way men respond is similar to how I am. What does that say about me? (With alot of exceptions...) Well, at the time I believed that men dealt with it in a way of denial and emotional numbing or wall. Avoiding emotional intimicay. Denial. Avoid pain. Women dealt with it in a way that was more open vulnerable, dealt in a concrete way, sought community help, and got over it. The male survivor, detached distance. What does it say about emotional conditioning?

The first two were portraits of me. The incomplete sentences leave you hanging. The portraits that show an unhealthy, incomplete Claude. The third part, responsibility, was going to be someone who had been through it, and was living a healthy complete life. The words "response ability"; "responsibility" has it's own weight to it. Since I've seen more responses based on personality rather than their gender. Also, I don't want to idealize people, throw up 2D images of people who've got their shit together. The possible third part on gender conditioning was sort of an afterthought. I don't know that people would really grasp it, even if it was complete.

Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait source