graphite on blue paper 21" x 16" copyright © 2007 Sherry Lee Short
pastel 28" x 15" copyright © 2009 Sherry Lee Short
pastel 18" x 12" copyright © 2007 Sherry Lee Short
pastel on paper 25" x 16" copyright © 2007 Sherry Lee Short
pastel on paper 22" x 21" copyright © 2011 Sherry Lee Short
pastel on paper 14" x 11" copyright © 2007 Sherry Lee Short
watercolor and pastel on paper 7" x 5" copyright © 2012 Sherry Lee Short
graphite and pastel on gray paper 15" x 28" copyright © 2011 Sherry Lee Short
watercolor and colored pencil on paper 8" x 6" copyright © 2012 Sherry Lee Short
I began this series of self-portraits over a decade ago. I was intrigued by self-portraits by older women artists historically. Although there are few examples, I found each of them poetic and rich with meaning.
Part my original intent of these portraits was to explore age and gender in relationship to beauty, identity, and power. I was also interested in how that exploration would change over time. Indeed, as this series has evolved, many more layers of meaning have come into play. Some of these works reflect specific personal experiences, and others grapple with broader political issues. Moreover, this work intentionally mimics--while at the same time aims to challenge-- traditional thematic representations of women by men in art.
This body of work is one that I return to periodically as I create a visual document of both my personal and more broadly political conversation with, and resistance to, social and cultural expectations and ideologies as I age.