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More than Meets the EyeWhat Blindness Brings to Art$
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Georgina Kleege

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190604356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190604356.001.0001

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Blind Self-Portraits

Blind Self-Portraits

Studies in Blue and Bronze

(p.122) 9 Blind Self-Portraits
More than Meets the Eye

Georgina Kleege

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses artists with impaired sight, specifically their self-portraits. Jacques Derrida observes a connection between traditional self-portraits and visual portrayals of blind people, such as Pablo Picasso’s Blind Man’s Meal. He observes that in both instances the viewer’s eye is drawn to the hands of the figure, and concludes that in this way the artist is drawing attention to his own handiwork. I collect examples of self-portraits by blind artists where blindness is a theme of the work. Some focus on a sense of loss, others simulate the experience of their visual impairment, while others represent a transition to nonvisual ways of knowing which are intended to be experienced through nonvisual modalities.

Keywords:   blindness, self-portraits, Alice Wingwall, Carmen Papalia, Sargy Mann, John Dugdale, Kurt Weston, Derek Jarman, Aaron McPeake, Fayen D’Evie

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