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Symbolic Forest

A homage to loading screens.

Blog : Posts tagged with ‘portrait’

Self-portrayal

In which we hate the sound of our own voice

Almost anyone you ask will tell you: they hate the sound of their own voice. I have a similar relationship with my own face.

This is at the top of my mind, because I received an email today, with a couple of photos of myself in it.* They look horrible, I have to say. No fault of the photographer, just that I look terrible anyway.

The common connection with the sound of your own voice is that just as you rarely hear your own voice as other people do, you rarely see your own face that way either. When I see myself in the mirror in the morning, it somehow doesn’t register, because it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad in my mind as it does in photographs. I’m convinced I’m not the only person who thinks this way, though. I’m sure there are relatively few people who are pleased with the appearance of their own face.

It makes me wonder about artists: specifically, artists who produce a lot of self-portraiture. What drives them to do it? Is it a narcissistic obsession with their own appearance? Or, as I’d prefer to think, is it instead more the reverse, an obsession with controlling their appearance because they’re never satisfied with it.

* And lots of other people too, of course – from when we all went out on Boxing Day.