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Reflection of Artists Through Their Self Portraits

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Submitted By sunsun
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Affandi’s “Self Portrait” depicts himself as an elderly man with unkempt hair and thick features. His signature whipping is used throughout the work; convoluted strokes of paint that imbibe a sense of vitality and dynamism into the portrait. These dramatic finger-painted streaks possess an almost physical energy, bringing to mind a passionate, confident artist who is unafraid of wild, unrestrained expression and exploration, both aesthetically and spiritually. Also, with a strong, vivid palette of primary and secondary colours—red,yellow and green with a hint of brown and flesh undertones—a sense of the artist's emotional depth is evoked. Hence, the self-portrait suggests a robust man whose forceful presence is asserted formally through his unorthodox, expressive painting style and palette choice.
Affandi’s expression reveals physical flaws, including his broken teeth and thinning hair. However, the expression captured on Affandi’s face is one of benign good humor as he grins widely out from the picture to return the viewer’s gaze, which brings across a dynamic side of his personality despite his old age.
In conclusion, Affandi’s self-portraits reveals an aging artist who realizes his frailty and, despite this, still exudes confidence and passion.

Van Gogh’s self-portrait is one of a man with a chiseled face and penetrating eyes, fringed by red and ocher wisps of hair, which all but glows against a field of cool, moody blue-green, set down in fervent, agile brush strokes. Indeed, the use of the color blue is so prevalent in the painting that it becomes less a color than force, colonizing and dominating the canvas. This conveys an atmosphere of dramatic melancholia, reflecting Van Gogh’s unstable and unhappy state of mind when he was working on the painting. Refuses to function as merely a backdrop, the blue comes to physically envelop Van Gogh, saturating his clothes an and casting a blue-green tint across his skin. The swirling brushwork of the background, schemata of sustained excitement, are unconfined by a fixed rhythm or pattern—an overflow of the Van Gogh's feelings to his surroundings. This, coupled with the dominating blue, suggests that Van Gogh was barely containing his emotions and struggling to keep madness and depression at bay.
In addition, his features in the painting are set in a guarded almost-scowl, with wide yet focused eyes that makes him look as if he were in deep thought. This sets a deeply serious and frigid mood.
All in all, Van Gogh’s self-portrait reveals him as a surly artist with a highly fragile mental state, who was likely battling with depression.

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