Skip to main content

Facing the camera: self-portraits of photographers as artists

Wilson, Dawn



Self-portrait photography presents an elucidatory range of cases for investigating the relationship between automatism and artistic agency in photography-a relationship that is seen as a problem in the philosophy of art. I discuss self-portraits by photographers who examine and portray their own identities as artists working in the medium of photography. I argue that the automatism inherent in the production of a photograph has made it possible for artists to extend the tradition of self-portraiture in a way that is radically different from previous visual arts.In Section I, I explain why self-portraiture offers a way to address the apparent conflict between automatism and agency that is debated in the philosophy of art. In Section II, I explain why mirrors play an important function in the production of a traditional self-portrait. In Sections III and IV, I discuss how photographers may create self-portraits with and without the use of mirrors to show how photography offers unique and important new forms of self-portraiture.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 31, 2012
Print ISSN 0021-8529
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Issue 1
Pages 55 - 66
APA6 Citation Wilson, D. (2012). Facing the camera: self-portraits of photographers as artists. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 70(1), 55 - 66. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6245.2011.01498.x
Publisher URL