ART 100 Cuyamaca College A Ps

A Psychological Selfie Portrait

The selfie is so ubiquitous these days that even iphones have “selfie” modes! The subculture of the selfie exploded with the onset of the mirror camera mode- and now, it would be difficult to find anyone that has a smart phone that does not know what a selfie is. However, this practice has been around for hundreds of years, and was previously identified as a “self portrait”.

The earliest that I can identify are from as far back as the Renaissance (1500’s). Not all artists worked in this mode, however this is when we see artists reflecting back on themselves, some more often than others (Rembrandt, p 321.).


For this week’s summary, you are going to create a psychological self portrait that is influenced by an artist from the textbook, and analyze it as an art historian might, or someone with a trained eye might, (like yours!).

A psychological self portrait gives us an insight into your emotions and feelings. It tells us of where you are at mentally and emotionally. Color, size, iconography, how much space your image takes up in the composition: these elements together tell us the story of you, in that moment.


For this assignment, please reference Chapter 11, section on “Self-Portraits” in the textbook.

You may also use any other image from the rest of the textbook.


Requirements & Instructions

1. Look through Chapter 11. Find an image that you find interesting, inspiring, and that you think you can create your own version that is “inspired by” that artist from Chapter 11.

Make sure to read the image description- it will tell you the story and feeling behind the self portrait. It may be in the story, that you find connection and inspiration.

2. Take a photograph of yourself that is psychologically interesting. Use your phones camera settings to adjust the colors, zoom in, crop, etc.

3. Your selfie portrait must tell a story that you will interpret based on these elements:

      • Composition (p. 42), Vantage; are you central and up close? Significantly small and off center? Zoom in! Or out!
            • Up close leaves no mystery, as opposed to far away
            • Central gives you the dominant role, off center may indicate a role reversal of central importance
      • Color; black & white, color saturation- vivid, faded. Use your phone’s camera settings to adjust the colors to suit the psychological interpretation.
            • Bright saturation may indicate a false intensity
            • Faded colors may indicate lack of emotion, loss
            • Black and white can tell of loss of vigor, or create extreme drama
      • Iconography: Props, clothing
          • Objects and types of clothing add to the story of your mental and emotional status and lead to an interpretation. Make it fun!

Include all points below in your summary

Please use the numbered format in your summary. Thank you 🙂

1. Your selfie- image

2. The original artwork that you were inspired by from Chapter 11. Include the title, name, medium, date. Make your image look as close as you can to your inspired art-work or explain how it is connected conceptually to the original.

3. Composition

4. Color

5. Iconography/objects

6. Reflection: was it successful? Does it create the psychological portrait you were hoping for? Describe the inspiration that you took from the original image; how can we see the inspiration in your image? Have fun!


Things to consider:

You may create a factitious character like Cindy Sherman did. This broadens your possibilities. Make up a totally new you!

Use an artist from the textbook as an inspiration; you do not have to copy them.

Things not to do:

  • No normal everyday selfies.

  • No environments/backgrounds that are vague or not directly related to your psychological portrait.

  • Use the timer mode on your phone, so…..no hands holding the phone. Make it a real portrait!


Please make sure all of these requirements are fulfilled

Please make sure all of these requirements are fulfilled before submitting:

  1. Provide the information in the numbered format above.

  2. CITE sources, if you use them (it is not necessary to use another source other than your text book). Your submission will be scanned through for originality. I will use this data to inform your grade. If you do not cite, it will “appear” that plagiarism is taking place.

  3. Try to limit your Summary to one page.

  4. Must be submitted as a pdf file.

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