Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Self-Portraits That Obscure the Self

By GRACE GLUECK @ New York Times

Photographers and painters have always made self-portraits; doing your own likeness is part of an artist’s franchise. But sometimes the camera’s potential nudges photographers further, encouraging a theatrical impulse: to portray themselves as a clown, or a person of the opposite sex, or even, say, Jesus. That was the case with F. Holland Day (1864-1933), a wealthy and eccentric Bostonian influenced by artists like Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. Starting out as a publisher of belles lettres, in the late 1880s he began making photographs, and rather exotic ones, at that.


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