Looking Inward: Our Self Portraits

Photo by Niko Navalta

By Niko Navalta, Aidan Hurley, Rosie Lopolito, Angie Shenouda, Brigita Przybylski, Kleigh Balugo, Tracy Fuentes

A self portrait is often a clear indication of how an artist perceives themselves. In the spirit of alone, we asked contributors to create self portraits that represent their relationship with themselves when no one else is around.

When crafting their self portraits, contributors asked themselves: Who am I when I’m by myself? How can I visually represent the parts of myself that don’t always show through? 

By Niko Navalta, Ink Drawing
With this self portrait, I wanted to draw my own take on Norman Rockwell’s Triple Self-Portrait (1960), deciding to add my own rabbits. Originally, I planned to do ink and watercolor for this piece, but once I finished the ink, I decided to leave it be.
By Aidan Hurley, Graphite and Colored Pencils
The back camera sees better. The way I see myself, when I am alone, is vastly different from the way others see me. In this piece, I imagine that the back camera of my phone is able to capture the dynamic, intricate, almost fantastical way that only I can see myself.
By Rosie Lopolito, Sharpie and Charcoal
When I’m alone, I’m like a cartoon character—I wear the same three outfits, the same glasses, the same earrings, the same few facial expressions. I don’t see myself changing from one look in the mirror to the next. With this self-portrait, I wanted to simplify myself to a single moment instead of depicting all the things that change over time (acne, eczema, scars, sunburn, and so on).
By Angie Shenouda, Photo Collage
I used to think caterpillars built protective layers around themselves in order to turn into butterflies, but in order to transform they actually burst *through* their own fleshy skin. Caterpillars are the chrysalis itself, inside and out. Surrounded by seemingly “put together” people, it’s easy to see myself as a work in progress & my self image gets a little distorted. I created this portrait as a reminder that even the soft parts of me hold strength. It is a representation of keeping the bigger picture in focus during my metamorphosis rather than constantly comparing myself to others journey.
By Brigita Przybylski, Photograph
My self portrait is a long exposure photograph that represents the complexity of being human and how we’re never truly alone when we’re alone. We have our emotions and thoughts and may talk to ourselves or listen to the voice inside our heads. We’re always changing and being influenced by the past, present, and future; our memories and dreams; how others see us versus how we see ourselves. But no matter what, through everything, you’ll always have you.
By Kleigh Balugo, Digital Drawing
Living in a city with over 8 million people gets lonely. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of commuters and feel insignificant. When I try to visualize myself, it’s hard to imagine not being surrounded by other people: squeezing on to packed trains, walking alongside strangers on the sidewalk, pushing through dense crowds. Life here is loud, so I’ve learnt to enjoy all of my silent moments alone.
By Tracy Fuentes, Photo Collage
I made a collage with four photos of me, each from a different stage of life. My kindergarten self represents my inner child, my seventh-grade self is me at my most insecure point, and my senior-year self shows someone who went through a great deal of emotional and mental progress. The photo of me in my red pajamas was taken by my sister and it shows the current, genuine Tracy. The book page background symbolizes not only my love for reading but how books have always been part of my life. My past selves are always with me, reminding me of how far I’ve come and how much further I can go.

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