Art Exhibition,  English

In Love … With Myself

Online profiles are essentially shameless self-promotion – things you like, things you do, endless photos of yourself, etc. However, I find when my skinny friends post too many photos of themselves in swimsuits, or newly-engaged friends post endless photos of rings and partners, and my married friends post hundreds of photos of their new babies, I start to feel badly about myself. That’s not to say that I’m not doing cool things or that I want children (Any. Time. Soon.), but sites like Facebook have opened many doors to jealousy, self-loathing, and endless comparison of ourselves to others. Stop it!


Egon Schiele, Self-Portrait, 1910.
Gouache, watercolour, and black pencil, 44.3 x 30.6 cm.
Leopold Museum, Vienna.


You know who would have been shamelessly good at Facebooking and making his peers feel like underachieving sloths? Egon Schiele. He started drawing at a very young and tender age, and while progressing in style and skill throughout the years, he maintained his edgy, in-your-face view of society and the human body. Review the bold words. Anyone come to mind? Honey Boo Boo, right?! Based on the lives of so many other ‘child stars’ – who, mind you, were on written shows, not facing the nearly frightening, redneck reality of Macon, Georgia – how can we ever expect ‘normalcy’ for that poor girl?


Egon Schiele, Self-Portrait with Chinese Lantern Plant, 1912.
Oil and gouache on wood, 32.2 x 39.8 cm.
Leopold Museum, Vienna.


Fortunately, I suppose, depending on how you feel about overpopulation, the world is much better equipped to deal with plagues, flues, and cholera, and so we’re less likely to lose talented artists in their prime because of illness. I could argue that there are some “artists” that we could bear to mourn, but would likely do better to keep such opinions to myself. (I know you thought of someone!) We’ll just have to stick out this reality television and self-promotional social networking phenomenon until they blow over. Until then, read a book or go to a museum. Give Facebook a rest because, frankly, you’re annoying me.


Egon Schiele, Self-Portrait with Arms Pulled Back, 1915.
Charcoal and pastel, 44 x 32 cm.
E.W. Kornfeld Collection.


Schiele would have had an impossibly difficult time posting all of his crude and vulgar self-portraits on Facebook, and his friends would have been better off for it, despite their raw beauty and allure. See the way he transformed his work throughout his short life at The Metamorphoses of Egon Schiele, on permanent exhibition at the Leopold Museum, Vienna. Pick up this heart-wrenchingly illustrated book, Schiele by Jeanette Zwingenberger, for a closer look.


-Le Lorrain Andrews

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