Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

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Self-portraits of photographers, special genre. A psychologically unsatisfied person tries to take photos of every significant moment in his life. This is caused by the habit of consuming entertainment in the same amount as everyday work, writes Susan Sontag in the essay “On Photography.” The author’s statement gives the key to understanding the popularity of Selfie. And what motivates professionals to capture themselves on film?


Claude Kaon

“Individualism? Narcissism? Of course. This is my strongest inclination and the only thing I knowingly devoted to.”

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

She categorically refused to call herself a photographer. And the surrealist artist. And a woman. Kaon is a collection of personalities, which she periodically changed, like masks. Shaved head, caricature dumbbells, clown make-up, coquettish antics, engraved profile, two heads on one body. Kaon rushes from the extreme to the extreme, proclaiming the triumph of uncertainty.

It went beyond the scope of the genre, culture, time, space. Rejecting the key concept of “self” on self-portraits, Kaon turned the survey process into an experiment and tried to create a new reality without tangible boundaries that usually arise with a rational perception of reality.

The artist’s body glues the earth and the stream, while the cloudy sky reflects in the water stream. The frames are worn out, the objects of the surrounding world have merged.


Arno Minkkinen

“Artists who think they keep everything under control, in fact, control only what they can foresee. Artists who allow external forces to interfere with work are like canoes in a river stream. Here are the cliffs. If you fight them, you drive the butterfly from the petal. If the current takes possession of you, you begin to glide smoothly along the waves of the surrounding world. This is a rare gift. “

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

The Finnish photographer was one of the few who studied almost exclusively with self-portraits. The artist refused to assist assistants and models. He saw the sincerity of the picture in the immediate merger of the author with the environment, be it the Grand Canyon, the snow-covered glade or his own apartment.

Many pictures were difficult to make. Just imagine: completely naked to plunge into the snow, take out your crossed arms and be in this position for at least nine seconds, provided that the frame is obtained from the first time … And what is hanging over the precipice?

Minkkinen does not want to expose the models to danger, so he makes self-portraits. So he becomes part of the universe of his own works.


Sally Mann

“I just shod horse …” (sighs).

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

Decay, decay, death. Many people describe Mann’s photo in this way. Blurred features of objects, a nebula, the mutilated parts of bodies, can cause similar sensation. Mann sings the aesthetics of the ugly. Ugly, that is unnatural, unaccepted. She takes off her naked daughters with a defiant expression of faces, emphasizing the femininity of ten-year-old children with tight fabrics. Or a lit cigarette.

The obscurity of the pictures is enhanced by the colloidal printing method, which gives the works a touch of the century before last.

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

The series of self-portraits of Mann are permeated with the charm of death. Many of them are associated with a painful incident: in 2006, Mann, strolling on a horse in the mountains, fell from an angry animal. In agony, it severely damaged the photographer’s chest, after which Mann was forced to spend long months in bed. In the pictures of the viewer, only part of the photographer’s body is available, which could be photographed on extended arms.

The real torment for an artist is the impossibility of creating. Chained to bed Matisse found a way out by hiring a group of assistants, and Mann escaped self-portraits.


Lee Friedlander

“At first my presence in the photographs simultaneously fascinated me and irritated me. But over time, when in the pictures I began to become part of other people’s lives, irony was added to these feelings. “

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

The photographer reflected America of the 60’s at a peculiar angle. When you look at the frames, you want to move the camera, shift the focus to another object, or remove the shadow, which seems to accidentally fall into the field of view. Friedlander bends the composition. This, of course, is getting on your nerves, forcing perfectionists to suffer.

Violation is intentional. Focusing on his chin or removing his own shadow on the coat of a stranger, the photographer emphasizes the unpreparedness of the caught moment. He captured the life itself, in which there are no thoughtful tracks. However, this does not mean that the photographer forgot about the banal frame construction. Perhaps the composition of Friedlander is no less thoroughly thought out than that of Minkkinen.

The character, that is, Friedlander himself, as a rule, is not central. He seemed to accidentally hit the film on a par with a cigarette or a lot of things in the corner of the room.

Instead of the apple in the face, the lamp is on.


Vivian Meyer

“I think nothing can last forever. We will have to give way to others. This wheel. You are doing well and you have to come to an end. And then someone has the same opportunity, and he is moving in the same direction. “

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

Self-Portraits of Photographers: Special Genre

A nanny from New York did not leave the house without a roller blind camera. A critical mind and a passion for documentation have poured into a secret hobby: photography. Mayer unnoticed the life of various layers of the American population, walking around the city. Negatives and printed pictures she kept in a separate box, away from prying eyes. Nevertheless, despite the low income from educating other people’s children, she did not consider photography as a way of earning.

Not ambitiousness pushed her to self-portraits. Curiosity.

Mayer caught herself in the frame. Unexpected foreshortenings in the double windows of clothing stores, in a glass old wardrobe, in the mirror of a woman create an ambivalent feeling. Awkwardness and chance. Awkwardness, because in most of the pictures Mayer’s lips are pressed, she does not look into the camera, as if embarrassed. Accident, because it is not the central object of the picture. Mayer as it were inadvertently passed and captured the old fur coats and a mirror with her reflection at the same time.

Her work was recognized shortly before her death. It is unclear whether she learned about this.

What would happen if Mary Poppins was a photographer?

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