The Other me’s

The photo sequence THE OTHER MEs sprung forth from the insecurities I experience as a starting artist. I often wonder: am I interesting as an artist? Are the things I make art? Do I have enough vision?

It seems that in the current fast, visually dominated world of Facebook and Instagram only the positive is allowed to be displayed. Questions and doubts are hidden with a mixture of certainty and success. During dark days, this increases the desire to be someone else, someone I'm not: successful, positive, beautiful. In this way, THE OTHER MEs is a representation of an old, childish wish to be someone else: someone who matters and who changes the world.

This very personal search for that other someone resulted in a series of portraits which investigate the borders between reality and fantasy, between myself and a character.
The starting point of all images from this series was a classical, realistic self-portrait. This portrait had a clear contrast in focus and clear lighting. This is who I am, this is reality, is what this portraits says. By starting with reality, it was possible to establish to what extent the real world is malleable.
I then modified this one image by drawing or painting a new layer onto it. I used different materials for this, such as Indian ink, pen, screen printing, acrylic paint, water-colour, and other raw photo material. This altered portrait was then combined with the original image, which created a series of varied characters.
In this process, my self-portrait changed who I really am into a character: an imagined image, with all ideas, judgments and prejudices that are a part of that image. The border between reality and fantasy is blurred. I saw myself in shapes I did not recognise, which transformed my self-portrait into a portrait of someone else.
During the process, the old desire to be someone else merged with my artistic creative force. Playing around with images and materials proved liberating and innovating. Every day, everyone changes into someone else to some degree.