Here's Looking at Me: How Artists See Themselves

Overview

Have you ever drawn a picture of yourself? If you have, then you know what a self-portrait is. Most artists make self-portraits as a way to practice. By drawing or painting or even photographing their own faces, they learn how to look at the world around them. And as the lucky viewers of their work, we learn what they thought about themselves. In Here's Looking at Me, Bob Raczka introduces us to fourteen famous artists who have made self-portraits. And as you'll see, they all have very different styles and ...
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Overview

Have you ever drawn a picture of yourself? If you have, then you know what a self-portrait is. Most artists make self-portraits as a way to practice. By drawing or painting or even photographing their own faces, they learn how to look at the world around them. And as the lucky viewers of their work, we learn what they thought about themselves. In Here's Looking at Me, Bob Raczka introduces us to fourteen famous artists who have made self-portraits. And as you'll see, they all have very different styles and settings. In fact, as you browse through this unique collection, you'll quickly discover that there is no right way or wrong way to make a picture of yourself. Only your way.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Self-portraits fascinate us all. They are windows into artists' souls, telling more than the most detailed biography could ever reveal about the inner lives of their creators. Bob Raczka has chosen fourteen striking examples from both familiar and obscure artists and written clear, illuminating interpretations of each. Many styles and eras of European and American art are represented, including a careful rendering by thirteen-year-old Albrecht Durer in the fifteenth century and a 1990 photographic pairing by Cindy Sherman (a double portrait, in which the artist reproduces a purported self-portrait by Caravaggio beside her own costumed and made-up imitation). Chuck Close's huge photorealistic self-portrait that dissolves into a thousand tiny abstract paintings contrasts with Norman Rockwell's famous Triple Self-Portrait, which, as Raczka points out, is misnamed, as there are actually eleven self-portraits included in the composition. The reproductions are large and clear, well chosen and varied. Despite the fact that Raczka's language is anything but simplistic, this would be a fine read-aloud book for a group of grade school children, sure to spark intelligent discussion. The photo listing at the end gives the full title of each work reproduced. 2006, Millbrook Press/Lerner, Ages 8 to 12.
—Michele Tremaine
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-In this top-notch introduction to self-portraiture, Raczka delves more deeply into each selection than in his More Than Meets the Eye (Millbrook, 2003). A single opening page prepares the way, whetting readers' appetites by having them consider how they would portray themselves. Full spreads follow, in which one page contains a labeled image and the other presents the related narrative on a faux parchment background. Raczka has chosen carefully; within his 14 examples, he manages to include three women, a range of cultures, and a span of periods and ages (D rer drew a version of himself at age 13). The moods vary as do the media, although, unfortunately, the media are not listed anywhere. The reproductions are clear, and the writing offers tidbits about the artists' lives as well as interpretation about the works. Viewers reading and looking closely will learn that Goya affixed candles to his hat so he could work at night, that Chagall painted himself with seven fingers for a reason, and that Rockwell's "Triple Self Portrait" includes many more than three. Peggy Roalf's fine Looking at Paintings: Self-Portraits (Hyperion, 1993) covers several of the same artists (although most of the portraits differ) and many additional names with a similar organization. A class would benefit from exposure to both; browsers may wish to begin with the shorter length and conversational style of this title.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822573050
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Raczka studied art at the University of Illinois and is currently a advertising writer. He has written nine art books for children, including No One Saw: Ordinary Things Through the Eyes of an Artist; Art Is…; More Than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art with All Five Senses; Unlikely Pairs: Fun with Famous Works of Art; Here's Looking at Me: How Artists See Themselves; and 3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet.
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