Friday, March 09, 2007

Gwenn Seemel :: Self Portraits

"The gaze of a self-portrait is a curiously intimate one: it is the
gaze of a person that scrutinizes her-him self. Looking at an
artist's self-portrait is a most delicious intrusion on a private

Gwenn Seemel

Gwen paints portraits one face at a time. Her web site chronicles her work. Not just portraits for portrait sake (which she does do) but also what she considers to conceptual projects:"When do you become a woman? Is it through puberty or after marriage? Maybe when you become a mother? How do modern gender surgeries affect what it means to be a woman? Can a breast enlargement surgery make you more of a woman? Or a male-to-female sex reassignment surgery? Is menopause the end of womanhood? Or is a woman always someone older than you? Are you a woman?

My next series questions whether physical changes have anything at all to do with becoming a woman. Each of my subjects has undergone some kind of physical change in 2006, transitions that are traditionally--as well as not so traditionally--associated with becoming a woman. I am capturing this year of change with two portraits of each subject, one "before" image and one "after."

Also, I am currently gathering subjects around the question "what does it mean to be an American?" Most of the subjects are immigrants or children of immigrants, because I tend to think that first and second generation Americans are more American than people whose families have been in the U.S. for many generations. What do you think?"
Please email her if you are interested in participating in this series or if you would like to be added to her mailing list:

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