Photography & Filming

6 Artists Get Vulnerable Through Self-Portrait Photography

Over 7 years, Polly Penrose created a series of dynamic self-portraits that examine a her changing body. Matthew Morrocco sat for sun-drenched portraits with older gay men he met online. Viktória Kollerová dives headlong into the murky corners of the human psyche. Plus, the great Francesca Woodman addresses themes such as gender, representation, corporality, and sexuality. Six photographers, each with a different perspective, bare all through self-portrait photography.

Viktória Kollerová’s mysterious self-portraits take us to remote landscapes across Slovakia and Portugal. 

Kollerov ashoots in black and white, and her primary subject is her own body. She finds ambiguous, impenetrable locations in various states of decay and weaves through them like a serpent.

Matthew Morrocco’s intimate self-portrait photography was made in collaboration with older gay men, who shared their stories with him.

Morocco embarked on what would become Complicit, a collection of self-portrait photography and portraits of older men, when he was in his early twenties. At the time, he wanted the photographs to ‘feel like falling in love for the first time.’ It’s now ten years later, and the pictures never left him. 

 Polly Penrose’s photographs of her nude body capture milestones in her life over the course of several years.

“Each of Penrose’s portraits is a reaction to how the body can ‘fit in’ a physical space. Often, Penrose has never seen the location before, and she never enters a space with a concrete idea. Open to unrehearsed experimentation, each image tests her stamina.”

For Francesca Woodman, photography was ultimately a means of self-expression. When she passed away, she left behind 800 works.

“Woodman’s photos represent a legacy and stand as a testament to her artistic vision and her remarkable eye for composition, light, and shade.”

Artem Humilevskyi’s photography captures his journey to self-acceptance.

“‘I’ve received hundreds of letters from people who suffer from their own insecurities,’ Humilevskyi reflects. ‘And it’s not just fat people–it can be any kind of insecurity.’ Many have found in his work an invitation to express themselves more freely, live more fully, and accept themselves for who they are. “I did not expect my project to become so important to so many people,’ he says.”

For her dreamy self-portrait photography, Noriko Yabu submerged herself underwater.

“In each image, Yabu recreates herself time and again—she is an island, she is Ophelia floating in the riverbed—and her body, her expressions, her hair, all obfuscated and turned into a mosaic of brushstrokes, reminds us of the element and ‘home’ in which all mammals, including ourselves, started out.”

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