Today’s blogs, tutorials and apps showcase the perfect selfie, but no one does it better than the art world’s original selfie masters.
Kindergarteners to seniors took inspiration from Frida and Van Gogh to create their own self-portraits now on display in the EPISD “Self Portraits: Looking at You, Looking at Me” exhibit.
“We are living in a time when our selfies are really important,” said Rosa Aguilar, fine arts facilitator. “They have become part of this generation’s everyday life and culture, but selfies have been done for a long time.”
The art exhibit kicked off with an opening reception at the historical Trost building, showcasing hundreds of EPISD student selfies in a variety of artistic mediums.
“This is one of the most personal shows that we’ve done because it’s about who the students are and how they fit in our world,” Aguilar said. “We all have a different interpretation when we see ourselves in the mirror, so having students from kinder to high school and seeing how they view themselves in each grade level is really fascinating.”
MacArthur Elementary-Intermediate student Melinda Reynolds found the exhibit a creative outlet for exploring her past.
“This is me and my life. I drew the house I lived in for many years,” Reynolds said. “I was having problems with my family and it left an impression on me. I just drew what I was going through.”
Barron Elementary fourth grader Jared Navarro brought his self portrait to life with bright pink and purple watercolors.
“It describes me because I am creative and artistic,” Jared said. “I have been drawing since I was 3.”
Mom Jessica Navarro, who shares her son’s love for art, enjoyed seeing the creative license it gave students.
“I like that he draws because I draw too, and it’s great to see him enjoy art,” Navarro said. “The idea for the show was really great. You can really see all the students’ emotions and feeling in their work.”
“Everyone did a really great job.”
This is the first art show for El Paso High junior Elisa Gutierrez who drew inspiration from her favorite artist Frida Kahlo. The untitled oil painting showed her in a dark space wearing a flower crown.
“Flowers are usually seen as something weak, but I wanted to show them as something powerful in my painting,” she said. “I used bright red roses to contrast with the black and white of the painting to make them the focal point.”
Gutierrez posed for a traditional in front of her portrait then strolled through the exhibit, in awe of the works of her peers.
“I really liked the concept for this art show and seeing all the different portraits,” she said. “We don’t really look at selfies as a very serious thing, but they can give you a lot of insight into a person’s thoughts and how they view themselves.”
For more photos from the art exhibit, click here.