Friday, July 2, 2010

"Self Portrait with Gun" goes global

For those of you who don't know about my piece entitled, "Self Portrait with Gun," it is a portrait made out of 200,000 dead ants. The artwork was recently exhibited at Alexander Salazar Fine Art in San Diego. AOL news international heard about it and interviewed me regarding the work, Fox 5 San Diego also interviewed me on their morning TV show, it was published in several newspapers, followed by Trendhunter magazine, written about in numerous blogs(Buzzfeed, Neatorama, Juxtapoz, Illusion360, Ixiqi, Koreus, and Dudecraft to name a few) and has recently sold to Ripley's Believe it or Not.

(The links are to the interviews, stories or posts)

Here are a few FAQs regarding the piece

A common question with the work is "Why is it called self portrait if it is an image of his little brother?"

Well, let me explain. When I was making the work I set out to recreate a memory of mine, the first time I intentionally tried to harm intelligent life. I was about six years old and my other brother (Jeff) and I attacked an ant hill and were bitten by red ants.

In this recreation it just so happened that my youngest brother Bryce was about the age that I was when this event occured (he was seven or eight at the time.) Bryce also looked a good deal like I did when I was six or seven and my parents even had my old cowboy boots which he wore in the picture. I set him in a suburban back yard, in character as a young boy dressed up like a cowboy and even had him pose with my fathers 22 caliber rifle(unloaded of course.) In this situation he was playing me, he was my model so that I could compose an image from which to work with on this project. It was very important to me on a conceptual level to have the image come from a photographic source which was then manipulated to imitate the faux western images. So when viewers ask who it is in the painting, it is both of us, it represents me and it actually is an image of Bryce. Its much like the way that Cindi Sherman does not consider the photographs of herself as self portraits.

"I feel I'm anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren't self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear." (Cyndi Sherman)

I will continue to post answers to FAQs in future posts.

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