Friday, September 18, 2015

Self Portraits are the Most Revealing of All

An artist named Abbey's self portrait
I haven’t done one yet, but I believe that when artists create their own personal self-portrait you can learn a lot about them. Drawing from their internal psych and emotions, they skillfully illustrate not only outward appearance, but personality strengths and flaws.

You’re probably familiar with some of the “famous artist” self-portraits. When lesser known artists add their own portrait to the mix, their unique style and preferences make them standout.

Self-portraits can also be used as a trademark that represents who you are and what you have to offer. People enjoy seeing an artist’s interpretation of themselves and how it relates to the style of their work.

In the latest Republican debate, the candidate’s facial expressions were telling. Only time will tell who comes out on top of the heap.

There was a back and forth between Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina over a comment Trump had made earlier about her “face.” “Have you seen that face,” he chided? “It’s not Presidential.” Later he backed off of those comments.

Gustave Courbet, "The Desperate Man"

Fiorina did not outright blast The Donald. Instead she came up with a fantastic commercial showing ordinary women’s faces concluding that they had great things to accomplish. She also verbally jabbed him at the debate saying “The women in America knew exactly what your meaning was,” and the audience applauded.

Carly Fiorina fires back!

Politics! Trump said after her remarks “I think she’s a beautiful and a wonderful woman.” Did Carly accept his attempt at graciousness? Absolutely not. The eye darts were flying. Most of the audience thought his comments were patronizing and insincere. Which just goes to show you that actions speak louder than words.

Trump’s body language and expressions showed that he is perfectly at ease with who he is in spite of his brash and at times insulting comments. He is confident that he knows how to get things done and that he will be successful.

Lucien Freud, Reflections, self-portrait

Next to body language, faces are the most expressive part of the body. There are some people who know how to put on a happy face even when they’re not. Some can show no emotion whatsoever which makes it easy for them to get unnoticed and unrevealed.

Beware of reading too much into body language or facial expressions. Some people (con men and women) are especially good at making themselves seem just like you and me. 

Follow your gut instincts. If something doesn’t seem quite right, it probably isn’t.
Don’t take people at their word either. Make sure you follow through with requests for identity and references. A telephone call to a friend or neighbor may just secure your safety and your money.

Rembrandt, self-portrait
Allowing people off the street into your house just because they have a flashy business card and a friendly face is foolish. Tell them you were expecting company or that you must leave for an appointment and ask them to come back another day. 

This cautious attitude pays off in politics as well. Take your time to assess a candidate over time. Do some research. The truth is somewhere in the middle as opponents may try to negate their competition. We have a lot at stake this year! Do your homework and then get out and vote!  If you don't vote, please don't complain later that you’re upset with the outcome.

Diane Edison, oil, self-portrait