Me, a Woman or a Man?

Taking the risk to make my partner feel uncomfortable: this is not a rhetorical question!

Miki and the Antisymmetry

Even if each painter who respects himself must paint self-portraits from time to time, it is not my thing. But I was asked many times to do it, and some time ago, I decided to give it a go, using the method of free and spontaneous inspiration.

As it was finished, I looked at him – yes, I never look at my work while I´m painting!- and the colours drained from my face… luckily not from the painting! Oh God, this was me, a blackhaired, romantic, pale, kind of burning young man in a 18th century fancy dress, surrounded by black silhouettes from the past and an actual faceless tall woman in a scarlet dress…

I went into a deep introspection, using all my psychoanalytical knowledge and understood. I won´t tell you, because it is too personal. Just let me tell you that it has to do with inversion and antisymmetry…

The same year, at an exhibition, a man whom I saw for the first time and who had never heard about me before, came directly to me. Pointing to the painting he said:

“It is a selfportrait, isn´t? ”

Perhaps you can imagine how deeply shocked I was!

“What makes you think that?”

And then he started telling me a lot of stuff about the painting and about me. You won´t believe it, but what he said was exactly what I had understood in it myself…


“You shouldn´t sell this painting, you know… it should stay in the family. I would love to buy it myself, but I think I shouldn´t, it wouldn´t be right…”

He bought another painting, and a woman bought that one…

Really the end of the story? Not quite… I´m still not sure…


11 Responses to “Me, a Woman or a Man?”

  1. wrjones Says:

    I like that line – “You shouldn’t sell this painting”. I’m going to use that for my own gain sometime down the road.

    Every painting is in a sense a self portrait.

    My wife recently called in on a nationally broadcast radio show by a supposedly clairvoyant woman who can read the minds/future of animals and humans.

    The woman ask my wife what her question was. My wife said she had a question about our daughter. Interrupting, the woman said you are wondering about grandchildren aren’t you. Your daughter is in the medical field, is very picky, and perhaps will never marry or have children but she will be successful.

    Since our daughter in in medical school this very much unsettled my wife. I told her the woman gets thousands of calls. The calls are recorded. She can makeup anything and on the 1 in 1000 that she gets right or close to right she plays them later on her broadcast. To the listener it seems as if she is always right.

    You can go to any painter, particulary on a figure piece, and suggest it is a self portrait of their inner self. It certainly is to some and sometimes a large extent. This will make you seem wise.

  2. Kyger Bailey Says:

    Beautiful colors. I’ve been trying to paint with bright colors lately and yet when I’m done it tends to be on the dark side. It’s interesting to me to flip through my sequential photos that I take while I’m painting and see the change from bright to dark. I still can’t figure out how to stop it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Susan Cornelis Says:

    Well, it’s a very androgenous figure on the left – not particularly male and easily embodies your personal flare. I am completely won over by this painting, whatever that means. . .maybe that some day I’d like to be able to paint like that. Maybe some day you’ll whisper in my ear your psychoanalytic understanding of this.

  4. Miki Says:

    Bill: you are so wise and I totally agree with you about the so-called clairvoyance!
    This entry was in fact about something else… about how amazed and scared I was that my painting could tell so much about me, not having even an idea if I intended it! I guess I did, because it was a self-portrait, but the message was surely not conscient..

  5. Miki Says:

    Kyger: thank you so much for the comment, and pleased to meet you.Very interesting what you say about the process from bright to dark, and I guess many pseudo analytikers would have their pseudo intellectual joy and interpretation! For myself I don´t believe in that stuff…
    I have given many art classes and workshops… if you want me to help you to find out what is happening to your paintings in the creation process, just ask me. But I am not sure you should try to stop this phenomenum, it is surely very interesting to see the different phases…I would love to see a series of these photos.

  6. Miki Says:

    Susan: I´ll tell YOU everything you want to know…
    but concerning the painting, I´m not sure to be able to tell you how to paint like that, because it is only a big chaos and the contrary of a conscious activity… and sometimes the result is good… but always everything in the room is full of colour stains!

  7. Olivia Kroth Says:

    A beatiful portrait, it reminds me of Virginia Woolf’s novel “orlando”, telling the story of a human soul being reborn at different times in different shapes, either as a woman or a man.

  8. Miki Says:

    Very interesting comment, Olivia, I kind of fell like Oralndo myself now!

  9. mudspice Says:

    I just sent you an email but then followed your links and came upon your amazing artwork here on your blog. It is really incredible. I am awed. And I think this my favorite one, despite you feeling uncomfortable about it. The colors are so vibrant and the energy is so alive!

  10. 100swallows Says:

    That is a very nice portrait and I enjoyed reading your post about it (and yourself).

  11. Tomas Says:

    Dear Miki,
    while looking at your self portrait, I recognized as you as myself – I saw my all bellowed in your palette, and the talk of art colors uncovered the mystery of “Me, a Woman or a Man?”
    I see a pinnacle of the creativity as the recognition of oneself in other. That makes us all the new creation- neither man, nor woman, but the child of the light, who melt into fabulous story of the beauty for the flowers newer wither and the dust underfoot could reflect the heavenly lights too.

    Dear Miki,
    I am proud of seeing my arthiker on your sidebar, yet let me invite you to
    currently this is my most active blog , and I want to exchange its link with you.

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