Self-portraits have a lengthy pedigree. Many of what we blithely choose to call history’s and contemporaneity’s greatest artists have contributed to the catalogue of this genre. The examples, while not endless, are impressive both in number and, at times, in quality. Whatever era is surveyed however, a couple of things become apparent. First is the effort the artist has made to capture their own likeness. Secondly, and more importantly, that what is important about the portrait is not the likeness that is captured, but what that likeness reveals. Self-portraits are secondarily about what the subject looks like; rather, they are about what the artist is trying to project, reveal, conceal, confess…or become. They are intensely and inescapably psychological.
Document is a long term project the artist began in 2012, and in which he positions himself among the pantheon of those who have created self-portraits in the past. Each year Jay Senetchko creates two self-portraits: one outside during the summer, and another inside during the winter. Each canvas is of identical dimensions and each portrait is frontal. This ongoing series documents the superficial changes of the artist’s physical appearance and stylistic application of paint; but more importantly, also catalogues his accompanying psychological states.