This week, during my material project, I had to create a portrait of my self. I’m very camera-shy, creating a portrait of myself was quite frightening at first. I researched some artists who use objects to portray themselves and came across Joseph Beuys.
Joseph Beuys is well-known for his installations, performance and sculpture. I am looking at his piece, ‘Felt Suit’.
Felt Suit is a two piece suit made from coarse grey felt. Bueys made 100 identical Felt Suit’s which were tailored from his own suit he wore. In an interview, Beuys stated, ‘I don’t give a damn. You can nail the suit to the wall. You can also hang it on a hanger, ad libitum! But you can also wear it or throw it into a chest’ (Beuys in Schnellman and Klüsser 1980, unpaginated).
I really like the idea of portraying yourself by something you wear. The suit is very plain but the creases give it character. I want to use my own clothes, something I wear often like my coat and show it in the same way as Beuys has. Clothes and my appearance are important to me and portray who I am. I also wanted to show my identity as an art student. When I tell people I am an art student, they are often shocked. There seem’s to be a stereotype for art student’s so I wanted to show what I dress like as one.
I wanted to take the statement, ‘I don’t give a damn. You can nail the suit to the wall. You can also hang it on a hanger, ad libitum! But you can also wear it or throw it into a chest’ and show my clothes displayed on the floor in a mess and hanging on a hanger.
I don’t like the neatly hung coat with the messiness of the clothes.
I feel like this image alone is a much stronger one than the one of all my clothes as it says more about myself and my style. I like how the coat isn’t in pristine condition and the creases, adding character. The jumper was added as I wear a lot of jumpers like this. I think this image has worked well to show my portrait and I have conveyed the ideas which I wanted to share.