Author(s): Brandon Brame Fortune; Robyn Asleson
This richly illustrated book features an introduction by the National Portrait Gallery's chief curator and nearly 150 insightful entries on key self-portraits in the museum's collection. Eye to I provides readers with an overview of self-portraiture while revealing the intersections that exist between art, life, and self-representation. Drawing primarily from the museum's collection, Eye to I explores how American artists have portrayed themselves over the past two centuries. The book shows that while each individual approaches self-portraiture under unique circumstances, all of their representations raise important questions about self-perception and self-reflection. Sometimes artists choose to reveal intimate details of their inner lives. Other times they use the genre to obfuscate their true selves or invent alter egos. Today, with the proliferation of selfies and the contemporary focus on identity, it is time to reassess the significance of the self-portrait.