HOW HAS THE SELFIE EVOLVED? THIS NEW PORTRAIT GALLERY EXHIBITION CHARTS ITS RISE, FROM 1900.
” “Eye to I” is the final exhibition of the ones mounted to mark the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary. Most of the previous exhibitions have featured people who aren’t usually noticed by official portrait galleries: slaves, workers, lynching victims and even those literally invisible to history — represented by the images in another 50th-anniversary show, “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light.”
This show is more traditional, in the sense that many of its subjects are well known and, in some cases, expected. (How could there not be, for example, an Andy Warhol?) Yet some of the 77 artworks, nearly all of them from the museum’s collection, are of less-celebrated figures. The selections are noteworthy for their artfulness, but also for how they illustrate our shifting ideas of self-image.”
” Patricia Cronin’s bronze sculpture of herself and her spouse, Deborah Kass, is both traditional and contemporary. The original is meant for the couple’s gravesite and is modeled after Victorian-era funerary art. But it depicts the women in nude embrace, sensuous and seemingly very much alive.
Bronze outlasts flesh, but the goal of any portrait is to preserve. The body withers while the image endures — if properly backed up on a flash drive, of course.”
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