Studies in Blue and Bronze
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.
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