Sketching Antonio and Liz today and working on the study for Antonio’s face as he looks currently was fun. He has a greying hair, and a distinguished jaw line and a playful but proud eyes. Then she gave me the picture of a much younger Antonio to do the portrait on and I was surprised and entertained to see the difference. There's a certain beauty in what could be seen as a kitsch way of holding on to the past, a very distant past of her husband's youth. One she could not have experienced in real life in this image of young Antonio. The portrait is possibly her way of looking into the past as a way to bare the present?
Here's the questions swimming around in my head today:
1. How much do we look at our past photograph and yearn to be young again?
2. Do you like your current image? If so, why and if you don't why not?
I could attempt to answer these myself. I don't often look at my own past photograph, but I do relate to the memory of what I thought I look like then and what I 'thought' I look like now. I don't deny that there's a difference between reality and imagined reality and most of the time we all seem to live in the imagined one. I most of the time live in my imagined idea of what I look like, and I think that a lot of people do too. I don't really want to be young again, not really for the sake of how I look. I am quite happy with the way I look now.
Whether I like my current image in a photograph? No, not always, most of the time, my imagined image is no where near the image looking back at me from the screen. When I do a portrait of people based on photograph I just took of them, and showed it to them, most people so far has never agreed that this is roughly what they look like. I enjoy this idiosyncratic but really question the way it can really torture people.
There's a recent podcast on a similar topic on This American Life called Is that What I look like? I've always liked this podcast, as it's stories about real people and after each stories, remnants of those people either stick with you or left some impression.. To listen click here
What are your thoughts about it? I'd love to hear it.