24 American Artist Self-Portraits

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On Self-Portraits > View a sampling of how more than 75 American artists have chosen to portray themselves over the past 120 years.

Self-Portraits: When Artists Depict Themselves

BY MAX GILLIES

Self-portraits are very much on our collective minds these days. First, there’s the matter of selfies. Thanks to the extraordinarily good cameras built into most smartphones, almost anyone can take a decent photograph of themselves. Most of the resulting images are not great art, so what makes the self-portrait of a professional artist that much better?

This question, among others, was addressed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in its 2019 exhibition “Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today.” This is a sampling (as seen in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine) of how more than 75 American artists have chosen to portray themselves over the past 120 years.

On offer here is an array of self-portraits painted, sculpted, and drawn by artists who live throughout North America. We are delighted by what they see in the mirror, and we encourage them to keep looking there in the years ahead, much as Rembrandt and Van Gogh did throughout their careers.

1. Krystal W. Brown

Self-portraits - Krystal W. Brown
KRYSTAL W. BROWN (b. 1968), “Guardian (When She Realized),” 2018, oil on paper mounted on panel, 11 x 16 in., collection of the artist

2. Aleah Chapin

Self-portraits - Aleah Chapin
ALEAH CHAPIN (b. 1986), “Listening in the Dark,” 2018, oil on panel, 24 x 36 in.

3. Tanja Gant

Self-portraits - Tanja Gant
TANJA GANT (b. 1972), “Ego Sum,” 2015, graphite on paper, 8 x 11 in., collection of the artist

4. Matthew James Collins

Plaster sculpture of a man's head
MATTHEW JAMES COLLINS (b. 1970), “Self-Portrait,” 2012, plaster, 3/4 life-size, collection of the artist

5. Michael Bergt

Egg tempera portrait paintings
MICHAEL BERGT (b. 1956), “Self-Portrait,” 2003, egg tempera on panel, 14 x 11 in., private collection

6. Felicia Forte

FELICIA FORTE (b. 1979), "Self-Portrait, Evening," 2016, oil on paper, 16 x 12 in., private collection
FELICIA FORTE (b. 1979), “Self-Portrait, Evening,” 2016, oil on paper, 16 x 12 in., private collection

7. Gerald J. Fritzler

Watercolor painting of a man on a motorcycle
GERALD J. FRITZLER (b. 1953), “Fritz,” 2012, watercolor on board, 19 x 14 in., collection of the artist

8. Arthur Haywood

Portrait of a man with a flag
ARTHUR HAYWOOD (b. 1990), “I Will Be Brave,” 2015, oil on linen, 10 x 8 3/4 in., available from the artist

9. Anna Rose Bain

Painting of a woman in winter
ANNA ROSE BAIN (b. 1985), “Silent Snowfall,” 2017, oil on linen, 36 x 30 in., available from the artist

10. Kamille Corry

Self-portraits - drawing by Kamille Corry
KAMILLE CORRY (b. 1966), “Self Portrait — Winter,” 2014, charcoal, charcoal pencil, and gold pigment on paper, 26 x 18 in., private collection

11. David Jon Kassan

Portrait drawing - David Jon Kassan
DAVID JON KASSAN (b. 1977), “Self-Portrait,” 2014–15, charcoal on paper, 16 x 12 in., available from the artist

12. Todd Baxter

Self-portraits, pencil drawing
TODD BAXTER (b. 1954), “Todd,” 2017, pencil on paper, 23 x 19 1/2 in., available from the artist

13. Karen Ann Hitt

KAREN ANN HITT (b. 1960), "It’s Personal," 2015, conté crayon and pastel on paper, 13 x 11 in., collection of the artist
KAREN ANN HITT (b. 1960), “It’s Personal,” 2015, conté crayon and pastel on paper, 13 x 11 in., collection of the artist

14. Matthew Bird

Watercolor painting of a man
MATTHEW BIRD (b. 1977), “A Work in Progress,” 2018, watercolor on paper on aluminum panel, 20 x 16 in., available from the artist

15. Ellen Starr Lyon

ELLEN STARR LYON (b. 1974), "Lost in Thought," 2018, oil on board, 8 x 8 in., Abend Gallery, Denver
ELLEN STARR LYON (b. 1974), “Lost in Thought,” 2018, oil on board, 8 x 8 in., Abend Gallery, Denver

16. Jeffrey T. Larson

Self-portraits - Jeffrey T Larson
JEFFREY T. LARSON (b. 1962), “Self-Portrait,” 2014, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 in., collection of the artist

17. Jim McVicker

self-portraits - Jim McVicker
JIM MCVICKER (b. 1951), “Laughing Self,” 2012, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 in., collection of the artist

18. Jill Banks

Painting of a couple in a restaurant
JILL BANKS (b. 1958), “Randy and Me,” 2007, oil on linen, 30 x 40 in., available from the artist

19. Linda Harris Reynolds

Pencil drawing of a woman
LINDA HARRIS REYNOLDS (b. 1957), “Unrecognizable to Myself (Self Altered Study),” 2018, pencil on paper, 8 x 5 in., available from the artist

20. Lorena Selim

LORENA SELIM (b. 1952), "Self-Portrait Vanitas," 2016, oil on aluminum panel, 22 x 13 in., collection of the artist
LORENA SELIM (b. 1952), “Self-Portrait Vanitas,” 2016, oil on aluminum panel, 22 x 13 in., collection of the artist

21. Duffy Sheridan

DUFFY SHERIDAN (b. 1947), "Self-Portrait," 2009, oil on linen, 32 x 30 in., Marshall Gallery of Fine Art, Scottsdale
DUFFY SHERIDAN (b. 1947), “Self-Portrait,” 2009, oil on linen, 32 x 30 in., Marshall Gallery of Fine Art, Scottsdale

22. Mary Sauer

Narrative painting - contemporary realism
MARY SAUER (b. 1986), “Expectations,” 2014, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in., available from the artist

23. Zack Zdrale

Portrait of a man with stitches
ZACK ZDRALE (b. 1977), “Self-Portrait 4/09,” 2009, oil on canvas, 12 x 9 in., private collection

24. Radek Vizina

RADEK VIZINA (b. 1978), "Effigy," 2015, oil on panel, 12 in. (diameter), Westland Gallery, London, Ontario
RADEK VIZINA (b. 1978), “Effigy,” 2015, oil on panel, 12 in. (diameter), Westland Gallery, London, Ontario

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