Pablo Picasso, Self Portrait. 1901.
Pablo Picasso, Self Portrait. 1901.

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.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #21,
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #21, “Film Stills” Series, 1978

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.

Costumes designed for the film,
Costumes designed for the film, “The Artist,” by Mark Bridges, 2012 Academy Award® Nominee for Best Costume Design.

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?

Leo Lionni, from
Leo Lionni, from “A Color of His Own.”

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.

Tibetan Sand Mandala Demonstration from
Tibetan Sand Mandala Demonstration from