Commodity Self-Portrait Project
Commodity Self-Portrait Project
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton
Like almost anything in life, art is a process. It is a process that has to be first contemplated, imagined, created, and performed. For some people it is an easy, even relaxing process, whereas for less artistic people it represents hardship and distress. In my case, creating my commodity self-portrait was a thought-provoking, relaxing and peaceful experience, as I had the opportunity to analyze myself, my life, education, and relationships better, thus, learning more about who I am and how I see myself compared to how others see me. The result is interesting since my commodity self-portrait portrays a lot of my physical features –my curly hair, my glasses, my long eyelashes, and the way I wear make-up. The first step of my process to creating my commodity self-portrait was to paint the whole Styrofoam head with a peach color acrylic paint, in an effort to equate my skin color. However, I would have like to use a little bit darker paint to illustrate myself as a woman of color. The second step was to put make-up on the face of the Styrofoam head. I wanted to make the Styrofoam head the best representation of myself possible, so I treated it like if I was getting ready for another normal day using the beauty products I have been using since high school. Therefore, I applied a thick layer of MAC Studio Fix Powder on the face as well as from the Dior pink blush I use. One of the physical characteristics I’m often praised for are my natural, long eyelashes; therefore, I see them as an important part of who I am. Although I do not use fake eyelashes –I don’t need to –, I bought a pair to exemplify mine. Moreover, I applied mascara to them and eyeliner on the eyes, a common thing I do every day. Hence, mascara is one of the beauty products I rely the most in to represent myself. I also decided to use my old Dior glasses, since these are an important characteristic of who I am –I have been wearing glasses since I’m six years-old –and have been renovating my glasses style with different brands. Currently, my glasses are Ray-Ban. Another step was the curly head made by fuzzy sticks that would exemplify my hair, another important characteristic of who I am. In order to shape my curls, I have been using both Pantene shampoo and hair crème for years now. As a very picky girl that I am, I would refuse to use any other type of shampoo but Pantene for ‘smooth curls.’ This happens too with my MAC Studio Fix Powder. I decided to add small Mexican hat as a representation of my ethnicity. In order to identify myself as a feminist in my Styrofoam head I decided to make an earring with black wire in the shape of the feminism symbol of the fist inside a circle and a cross. On top of the mouth/lips, I decided to place a sticker in the form of a cross to represent my religious belief in the Catholic Church and how this has been a big influence in the way I speak, think, and carry myself. Going along with this, on the back of the Styrofoam head I made to openings, or extra spaces, to express some of the important things that have shaped and continue to shape who I am today and what I do and enjoy doing. On the left-side opening, I placed stickers of books and pencils to represent the importance and weight education has had and still has in my life, particularly right now as a college student. I also combined these with some stickers of crosses to represent the Catholic education I received during Junior high school and high school and that was a significant influence in my life. The worlds represent how much I enjoy learning of other cultures as well as traveling, thus I love diversity! On the right-side opening I used musical notes stickers to represent how important music, particularly classical music, was for eight years by playing the violin, and its legacy. One genre of music I listen the most is romantic music, either in Spanish or English. Moreover, I also think of myself as a hopeless romantic who believes in real, true love and other cheesy things. I also considered myself a very emotional, sentimental, and passionate person. Therefore, because of all the reasons aforementioned, I place a big wooden red heart. On the back of the head, below the openings, I decided to place pins that represent my beliefs and ideas on feminism, social justice, equality, diversity, ethnic rights, and universal peace, among others. On the left side of the head, I decided to put some of the beauty products I daily use. As aforementioned, these are the only brands for beauty products that I use because of how picky I am with brands. Finally, I decided to put some phrases about women on one side and names of brands on the other, all of which I cut from the magazines I read, to represent some of my feminist beliefs that identify me as well as some of the brands that I use in beauty and clothing products.