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Neel,Alice(USA) Self Portrait,1980 - Essay Example

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Four years before her death, Neel Alice painted her first self-portrait. It was in 1980 that she did the painting. Neel was the last of her elderly art matriarchs. Introduced in her natural element she is a painter.
As she grasps the…
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Neel,Alice(USA) Self Portrait,1980

Download file to see previous pages... Her eyeglasses portray frailty, yet proclaim her as one who sees. The glasses were her way of saying, “look, I’m somebody who inspects, I’m someone who scrutinizes. That’s who I am.” Such contrary elements hint of her singularity (Sandra 2004).
She completed the nude self-portrait in 1980; apparently it was one of the many experimental self-portraits. When she was quizzed on why she did it, her response was, “the reason I did it was because my face bores me. I cannot bear that little Anglo-Saxon face. But with the whole body, strange things are happening; the flesh is falling off bones. I always had bad feet…I have a big toe, and there is a leg that is frightful, but as a work of art, it is gorgeous.” With a career, spanning much of the twentieth century, the self-portrait suggests her conservancy with its major art movements, as shown by the Matisse-like to strip chair and collusion of green and orange diagonal planes of color on the bottom half of the canvas. Neel’s self-portrait portrays the emergence of women as artists in their own right. She paints herself into a corner sitting in a blue-stripped chair near the point where two rear walls of a white room meet at what we presume is her reflection in the mirror. The subject’s naked body, framed by a layer of bluish shadow from an invisible origin of light on her right is the focus of the painting. Her hidden vagina is at its center. The brush reveals to us that she is an artist as does the rag and the rather not glamorizing eye-glasses (Nochlin 247).
From another angle, Neel presents the viewer as a woman artist who has found her way out that neglected space on her own conditions. Her body at a three-quarter angle is not idealized as a female nude or a representation of an aging woman. Neel’s body with its bending shoulders, its hanging breasts over her full stomach and fleshy legs sags in every ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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