So Dali gave Mona Lisa a new look back in 1954.

Profile Picture

I’m not sure DaVinci would approve.


Picasso: Girl Before a Mirror

Remember the wickedly evil stepmom in Disney’s “Snow White”? Creepy lady, wasn’t she? That movie still scares me a bit, even though I am into my 20’s. She says “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

Mirrors, without getting all complicated about light and angles of the mirror, ect., basically reflect our physical self.  When I think about how we mirror ourselves today, and with making that lovely technological connection, I can not help but think of how social networking mirrors who we are to ourselves and others.  We’ve created that self-portrait of who we are by adding all this personal information and pictures into our personal profiles, but is it an accurate reflection of who we are? Do we really share everything about ourselves? Should we share everything?

These are some pretty complicated questions.

Allow me to suggest that we are like Picasso’s “Girl in the Mirror”. Our personal profiles on social networking sites mirror what we want people to see. The colors of ourselves are a bit different than who we really are.  Certainly I advocate being true to one’s self. But many people, myself included, feel this really intense need to pad our personal profiles and use words to develop someone a little shall I say “Cooler”, for a lack of better word, person.  My personal profile remains true to myself, just because I feel like reflecting myself as something different isn’t the best way to present myself to new friends or to those who have known me all my life, but the urge is there none the less.

I think this painting is truly relevant to our personal profiles even though it was painted approximately a century ago. You may think you need to reflect yourself inaccurately to have some really cool colors and patterns added to your personal self, but in all reality, you’re full of really cool patterns and colors on your own.

So keep it sur “real”.

TobiGirl Before Mirror

Surrealism, the early 20 c. art and writing movement evolving out of the Dada avant garde movements around Paris.

I personally find surrealism very interesting. It is filled with surprise, juxtaposition, and non-sequitur. When one first takes in surrealist art, they might not know how to take it.  It’s not all flowers and parks from their impressionist movement predecessors. It’s kind of weird stuff to look at.

My first experience of surrealistic art was at an exhibition of Pablo Picasso at the High Museum. I was 12 and I just found the stuff to be weird. I personally love Monet and Van Gogh, so at that moment I didn’t really know how to take Picasso’s cubism or politically fired up paintings. What was a blue period? What did that mean?

The self portrait in Surrealism takes on more than just the portrait itself. When one looks at a self-portrait, we judge the likeness to the actual person. However, in Surrealism the self-portrait is much more than the physical. The expression of the internal is just as, if not more, important than the physical likeness.

So how does that link to social networking? Personally, I love social networking. I would tweet and write on walls all day long if I had the option. The interesting thing about social networking is that one has the opportunity to create their self-portrait for the whole world to see. Take for example, Facebook. Essentially, it is one big Surrealist self-portrait. Sure you put a picture on your profile that defines you, but then you add all this information, place more pictures on your profile for others to see. You try to create an all encompassing picture of yourself, while perhaps hiding some of the facts you don’t want people to know.  That’s fair enough. Privacy is not overrated in a social networking world that can sometimes put in words or in pictures the definition of TMI.

The Surrealists were early social networkers. Stretch? Perhaps not. They attempted to define themselves through self-portraits so that others could define their art. Their art has a tendency to look like their self portraits, just like your Facebook pages have a tendency to reflect the picture on the page, and thus the person who “owns” the page.

For your artistic enjoyment, I have compiled some of the self-portraits of Dali, Matisse, and Picasso for your artful enjoyment.

Be cultured. Be surreal.


What are the artists saying about themselves in their self-portraits? When we talk about self-portraits or creating facebook pages, is there a sense of “self-centered”ness?