Self-Portraits…The More Things Change

Tomorrow, I’ll instruct my students on the tradition of self-portraiture.

One of the really cool things about the practice is being able to compare how you change both physically and in your thinking. For example, in my self-portraits from the Epic series, Regarding Parabellum, I hold a gun in one hand and give my audience stink-eye. That’s 2009.

Fast forward to Splashdown, from the Migration series, finished this year. Both are highly political. But in Regarding Parabellum I was considering historic/philosophic positions to war. Now my work is much more personal. The new self-portrait commemorates Toni, who entertained the kids interned in La Trampa by dancing with a skeleton. This very personal story is conflated with the larger story of Mariel and the subsequent ‘wet-foot, dry-foot’ policies which resulted in countless of Cuban refugees being denied entry into the US.