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A couple of nights ago, Daughter, Young Son #2, Hubby and I went to an art show in which Eldest Son’s art appears.  The theme of the show was self-portraits.  Each artist had to create an outer self-portrait based upon a work by an established artist.  The artists also had to create an inner self-portrait based upon the art of a culture of their choosing.  They had to use the art of their chosen culture to illustrate what was going on inside themselves – which, as you know, doesn’t always match a person’s outer image.

Eldest Son chose a Michealangelo work for his outer self-portrait.  For his inner self-portrait, he chose Egyptian culture.  Here is what he came up with:

Inner Self-Portrait by Eldest Son

Inner Self-Portrait by Eldest Son

Eldest Son enjoys architecture, so you’ll see some architectural elements here.  He wanted to bring the two-dimensionality of Egyptian culture into a three-dimesional figure, while still retaining some elements of two dimensions.  (Note the object in the sculpture’s hand.)

It was fascinating to look at which cultures the artists used to interpret their inner lives.  Quite a number of people inspired by Native American traditions, but other than that one commonality, the other artists chose disparate cultures, such as Buddhism, Asian art, and Hawaiin scrimshaw.

As I thought about the art show, I got to wondering what culture’s art best describes my inner life.  I came up with three specific cultural traditions that I would have used to create something for a show like this:

Indian batik and embroidered fabrics (India, not Native American),

Objiwe beaded bandolier bags, and

Victorian crazy quilting.

All display a certain regularity in production, but also a sense of whimsy and unpredictability.  If done right, the excessive embellisment is astonishing, but not displeasing or overwhelming to the eye.

So, then, what about you?  What culture, or more specifically, cultural artistic tradition, would you choose to illustrate your inner life?  Why would you choose that particular culture?

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