In her last post, Maureen, shared that Picasso, “used self-portraits to depict himself in the many different guises, disguises and incarnations of his autobiographical artistic persona” (Art & Artists). This struck me as a powerful paradigm shift. Picasso is shaping his identity, playing with it, and trying on new roles. It is a playful act, one that engages the audience and invites us to put on our own guises.
The photographer Cindy Sherman also toyed with the idea of multi-selves in her series, Untitled Film Stills. Pulling from images of women in the media, Sherman created 69 black and white photographs of herself acting out stereotypical female roles: the housecleaner, the sex kitten, the tempting librarian… When researching Sherman’s work I learned that the 1997 show at the MOMA was funded by Madonna, who also plays with the image of her identity. Madonna has visually equated herself with Marilyn Monroe, the Hindu Goddess Shakti, Marie Antoinette. Beyonce and Lady Gaga are similar mistresses of identity fluctuation.
We are many things. We are the mask-wearers; the shape-changers. Your body is a storyteller. Your clothes are your costume.
And yet… Is there a spirit, or a soul, at the heart of one’s many selves?
Do you, too, feel the loneliness of never finding that one place where you are your most authentic self?
Screw your authentic self.
Let go of self. Meditate on change and breath, and open yourself to the idea that you are no one… and everyone.