Portrait and the Self: A Deconstruction


A portrait is usually an attempt to capture a quality of a person which reveals the essence of who that person is. That may be well and good, but in reality we know we are more complicated than having a single essence. We exist in many roles and have many selves within the structure of our personality. We are white, black, Latino, male, female, a son, a daughter, a parent, an immigrant, a New Yorker, a modernist, a post modernist, tall, short, dyslexic, professional; we have a subjugated self and a privileged self, and on it goes.

In addition, we are constantly in flux. What we identified with at one time may longer sustain us over time. What we construct as our “actor's mask,” or persona is an idealization of a self we desire to share with the world. This public self we protect and preserve. But there is also a private self that is kept hidden.

In this series I explore the multitude of selves of the subject’s personality. Viewing the subject as multidimensional, I seek to reflect the complicated nature of personality in the portrait.

Jack LaForte