Mary Bass, Art Critic
Let’s be honest, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with ‘selfies.’ I’ve been known to take some ‘selfies,’ even paint a self-portrait. However, we all have that one friend whose social media feed is just a constant stream of ‘selfies.’
While you may love and care about this person, you just desperately want to disable the front-facing camera capabilities of their phone. As a whole, we could easily be dubbed ‘Generation Selfie,’ rather than Generation X, Y, Z (or whatever letter we’re on, anyway).
‘Selfies,’ or self-portraits, have been an important artistic genre for thousands of years. In that tradition, Gretchen Charlton Art Gallery’s new exhibit, “SELF”, features a range of works by the gallery’s artist members. The members were challenged to create or submit artwork that demonstrated their approach to self-representation.
As I walked through the exhibit, I was intrigued by some of the artist’s understanding of the exhibit’s theme. One of the artists showed a watercolor landscape featuring a favorite spot his friend loved to visit. It’s well done, but it’s not really in reference to him or his favorite place to vacation.
At first, I was pretty unsure how this was supposed to represent the artist. Maybe my ‘Generation Selfie’ mindset was worse than I thought. It took me a while to realize that a painting or photograph of landscapes, or inanimate objects may say more about an artist than it seems to at first.
The relationships and objects a person cherishes are a good indicator of who they are. This helped me gain some perspective on quite a few pieces in the show. I definitely recommend checking out the “SELF” exhibit.
The show runs through Sept. 2, and admission is free. The Gretchen Charlton Art Gallery is located in the Provena Heritage Village, 901 N. Entrance Ave. Kankakee IL.