Sunday, 27 September 2009

Analysis of 'Self Portrait Pulling Cheek' 'Egon Shiele'

What struck me first about this self-portrait of Egon Schiele was that both his eyes look in different directions. This was interesting as he uses this technique in some of his other works, Portrait of the Artist's Wife, Seated 1918 and Mother and Two Children, 1917. Conventionally, when the subject is looking at the lens, it portrays a confrontational image, while looking away signifies that the subject is either looking at something important or that they are distancing themselves from the picture. In this case, I believe it could be a fusion of both, while the subject recognises he is being focused upon, there is so much on the subject's mind that he is slowly drifting away. However, Egon Schiele was also subject to much controversy during his lifetime over the obscenity of his paintings, as they were socially unacceptable; the originality of his work perhaps came from his decision to avoid conventions and maybe where this technique with the 'eyes' came from. There seems to be a drastic change in colour, when traveling from his face to his forehead, although in reality, they are usually of similar tone. I believe this could be to signify the amount of complications in his life, as it may connote the many problems that he dwells upon in his mind. The various directions used with the brush strokes on his clothing help associate his character with a puzzling and entangled lifestyle. In contrast the background is a very simple light colour, I believe this may be him trying to tell us that the world around him is simple, but the world that he lives in is full of complications and struggles.

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