It’s a brand new year, and an exciting time to be following the work of self-portrait artists across the globe as they take on fresh projects. We’ve noticed lots of you bringing fairy lights into your work since the festive period, and have spotted the beginnings of many 365 and 52 projects in the past fortnight, as it appears the new year has brought with it fresh inspiration for many.
In this special feature, we share the work of ten artists we think are ones to keep an eye on in 2018. Their work epitomises for us the unlimited creative possibilities presented by self-portraiture. We hope you enjoy, and follow them into 2018 and beyond…
Based in Florida, Britt began self-portraiture as a therapeutic endeavour. In recent times, she has focused almost entirely on instant photography, and before this, underwater photography was her passion. Soon, she intends to combine the two. Britt comments, ‘Self-portraiture, to me, is an attempt to understand the self. That, in itself, is a futile, impossible task, so naturally, I couldn’t stop trying to solve an impossible riddle if my life depended on it.’
Chiara is from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is currently completing a degree in photography and creative writing at Bennington College, Vermont. She started taking self-portraits around seven years ago in the landscapes of her hometown. ‘For me, there is a high that comes with being both the photographer and the subject,’ she explains, ‘I am currently working on a project in New Mexico, transporting an old porcelain bathtub to various rural locations and photographing/filming myself taking a bath in these places.’
19-year-old Brian has been on our radar ever since we saw the above photograph on Flickr. Mainly based in Nairobi, Kenya, Brian began taking self-portraits around four years ago, and has in recent years focused on the medium increasingly in his work. You can read more about Brian’s photography in his Under influence feature here.
Evija is a self-portrait photographer from a small town in Latvia, currently living in London. Back in around 2008, Evija’s father bought a Sony a300 DSLR camera as a joint family Christmas gift, and she was the person who took greatest interest in using it. Above is an example of the photographer’s more recent work. She comments, ‘Sometimes I feel like I’m experimenting with myself, being more of an observer of my own life.’
Look out for our profile on Evija in the weeks ahead and, in the meantime, see her Flickr for more
A photographer based in Edinburgh, Ira’s self-portraiture explores the relationship between the human body and its surroundings. We first spotted her work on Instagram, through our magazine hashtag. Ira says, ‘What attracts me most about self-portraiture is the absolute creative freedom it offers. I choose how I present myself, I can open myself widely and be vulnerable, or the opposite – hide myself. I am not afraid to take risks and there are no serious consequences when something goes wrong.’
Based in Seattle, Washington, Kavan the Kid was initially drawn to self-portraiture as a means of channelling the dark feelings he experienced with depression. On this he comments, ‘As I grew as a photographer it evolved from being this medium I used to escape into something much bigger. It eventually just became a part of me.’ Kavan works on a YouTube channel, PhotoForge, presenting excellent photography tutorials.
You may have already enjoyed our profile on Celeste’s work last week. Based in Chile, the self-portrait photographer has found her niche in being experimental with both the medium of film and the way she depicts the female form. Celeste has been ‘one to watch’ consistently for years, and we think it’s time her work received even more recognition than it currently does. Watch this space.
Polaroid artist hjorr dis is based in Germany and is 33 years old. Through her self-portraiture, she experiments with long and multiple or double exposures, creating her own worlds. hjorr comments, ‘A few years ago I started the self-portraits accidentally because I found the human body in connection with nature fascinating. Now my work is a reflection of the things I experience and a confrontation with time and the body.’
A self-taught film photographer based in Italy, Kristina’s interest in photography was initially spurred by her grandfather’s Soviet cameras. He later gifted her a simple point-and-shoot Pentax, and she’s never looked back. Of her practice, Kristina shares, ‘Making my work is not always a pure joy for me – most of the time I bare my vulnerability – but to share how I see myself and the world around me with others is liberating.’
21-year-old Irish photographer Nathan’s work delves into the weird and the wonderful, with themes tapping into fairytales and poetry. His self-portraiture developed through his taking on a 365 project, which led him to all kinds of strange places: ‘I’ve had myself lying in baths seeping with red velvet, and had subjects in the middle of the sea holding each other to help me convey a story. Knowing that’s possible is something that I love most about what I do,’ he comments.
Find further work by Nathan on his Flickr page