Me, Myself and I: gal-dem’s self-portrait series looks at the possibilities of creating art alone
We're kicking off a week-long celebration of photography by zoning in on artists who have ultimate agency over their image.
08 Jun 2020
Even though the lockdown seems to be crumbling worldwide as people swap self-isolation for tempestuous collective action, the last few months have still been characterised by solitude. So this felt like the perfect time to examine what each of us are individually capable of.
We’re kicking off Me, Myself and I, a week-long celebration of artists who are their own muse. In these ~strange and unprecedented times~ we’ve become painfully self-aware, forced to find solace in being more alone than we’ve maybe ever been before. But on the other hand, as we spend more time reflecting each of us has found new ways to express our emotions. Some reacted by trying to carve a new version of themselves they were happy to live with: one that bakes bread and knows how to do box braid. Or can do the ‘Savage’ Tik Tok dance from start to finish without fucking up. When the only tool we have at our disposal is ourselves, we have to get creative.
Being alone doesn’t have to be limiting, as per the gospel of Beyoncé in the titular track that shares a name with this series. We’ll be zoning in on self-portrait photographers like Glenda Lisette, Izumi Miyazaki, Atong Atem and Kimberly Douglas. Each of them have developed a unique practice, using their bodies and faces as a canvas, creating characters, and using props and tech to make evocative work.
As well as profiling a selection of on-the-rise photographers, we’ll journey deeper into the medium via analysis of works by women and non-binary people who have blazed the trail, explore the power of having agency of your own image as a woman of colour, and aim to inspire you with guides to do it yourself. With so much pain in the world it is important to allow yourself to look at something beautiful, be reminded of our talents and get inspired.
Remember to keep your eyes peeled on how to get involved. Here’s what we’ve published so far:
Watch: How to take a bad bitch selfie
Send us your own selfies, tagging @galdemzine and using the #MeMyselfandI hashtag, and we’ll publish our favourites. Here South-African artist Lunga Ntila gives you a visual guide to recreate her style, and you don’t even need photoshop.
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We’ve been familiarising ourselves with the power of self-portraiture all week, so now it’s time to create our own 💎 South African based multidisciplinary artist @lunga_ntila shows us the behind the scenes of her beautiful printed collage technique, and gives us three simple steps to make our own masterpieces. Take her advice of experimenting with poses, backgrounds and the simplicity of what you have at home and tag us in your creations #MeMyselfandI 🎥: @daisyifama