Oil on Canvas
28 X 27 in
Understanding oneself is the first step toward comprehending everything that surrounds us. A self-portrait is a form of exploration of an artist’s facial features, their expressions, personality, and state of mind during the time of painting. While doing a self-portrait, artists discover themselves and thus, is an important aspect showcasing an artist’s self-perception or how they want to be seen by others.
Many great artists have created their self-portraits and like them, Samundra Man Singh Shrestha was also allured by it since childhood. During his college days, he collected “The Great Artists” book and in each of those books, he found a self-portrait of different artists. The portraits depict the different personalities present in the artists.
Shrestha’s favorite sketched portrait of is one that is never-ending as it is in the form of his portrait journal, recording precious and memorable events of his lifetime. It is represented in a cryptic mannerism where only the artist knows its content and therefore is a mystery to the viewers.
With the desire to feel the impact a self-portrait could bring on his personality, Shrestha has created three distinct self-portraits. Initially, in 2004 A.D., he made a portrait of himself using oil colors. This portrait had more of a vintage look, making himself seem more mature and aged. The main reason for this was to make the buyers take him more seriously and don’t disrespect him for his youth.
Despite his young age and looks, he was adamant that through his painting, he could present himself as an experienced artist. While creating this painting, his inspiration was Rembrandt and his technique of one-light-source in the painting. Shrestha was not doing any other paintings during this time except for his Bhairava-Kaumāri (pg 22 of the catalog), which can be seen in the background.