Monday, August 18, 2014

Jacquie Colvin | Self-Portrait Parody

Self-Portrait Parody © Jacquie Colvin c2008
In past years, as a way of acquainting my students with the intricacies of image adjustment (and modification) using Adobe Photoshop, I have sometimes used a "self-portrait parody" problem, in which students integrate photographs of themselves into public domain images of past historic works of art. An early problem, sometimes the results are amazing, sometimes not. Shown above is one of my favorite solutions (c2008), produced by Jacquie Colvin, a student who later went on to become the graphic designer at the Grout Museum District in Waterloo IA, as well as an excellent mentor for student interns who have subsequently worked with her. The artwork of which this was a parody (the pair is reproduced below) was Self-Portrait in a Straw Hall, by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Lebrun (c1782).


Eudora Welty, "A Sweet Devouring" in The Eye of the Storm: Selected Essays and Reviews (New York: Vintage, 1979), p. 281—

All that summer I used to put on a second petticoat (our librarian wouldn't let you past the front door if she could see through you), ride my bicycle up the hill and "through the Capitol" (shortcut) to the library with my two read books in the basket (two was the limit you could take out at one time when you were a child and also as long as you lived), and tiptoe in ("Silence") and exchange them for two more in two minutes. Selections was no object. I coasted the two new books home, jumped out of my petticoat, read (I suppose I ate and bathed and answered questions put to me), then in all hope put my petticoat back on and rode those two books back to the library to get my next two. The librarian was the lady in town who wanted to be it. She called me by my full name and said, "Does your mother know where you are? You know good and well the fixed rule of the library: Nobody is going to come running back here with any book on the same day they took it out. Get both those things out of here and don't come back til tomorrow. And I can practically see through you."

The model (left) and the mimic