As the first project comes to a close, I've taken a moment to gather my thoughts on the project with the benefit of hindsight.
Today's first crit session was very insightful in seeing the wide variety of outcomes to the project with the various different approaches taken. It really established a sense of unity, as the group could conform as a whole with truth and honesty where no shame is to be had. Notably, the more successful pieces held a strong and compelling conceptual quality where technical aspects could be overcome by providing a sense of depth and intrigue.
In the beginning of the project, I did not have a specific idea set in my sights that left me feeling a little astray. By looking into different artists, concepts and later forming my own interpretation of the essential problem in self-portraiture, was I able to let the project guide me in my aesthetic choices that really allowed me to develop my portrait on a conceptual level with a wide range of experimentations. With several ideas and concepts that I felt had potential, it became difficult for me to fathom and combine all of these into a specific direction, where I could feel I made that successful creative leap in creating a resolved final piece that I could be satisfied with. Only by taking a step back and focusing on a single and strong idea was I able take a creative leap in my final portrait in portraying a dramatic instance of my identity.
Perhaps, with more time I would re-look into my initial attempts in the layering of digital painted instances of myself, and consider some further differences in the expression of my face either emotionally or in entirely different conceptual manner.
At this point in time, I think my essay went smoothly as planned exploring: 'A Transition of Photography in Portraiture and the Nature of Identity in the 20th and 21st Century' contrasting a number of early photographic works of Yousuf Karsh, Arnold Newman and Lee Miller, to contemporary artists Claudia Matzko, Aziz + Cucher and Eva Lauterlein, reflecting the transition between the two periods. Time will tell in how successful I achieved this.
Overall, I am pleased with my progress and outcome in the first project. Having tackled the first project, I am feeling quite excited and motivated more than ever to engage with the next project in my creative development.