Description: Self-portraits often tell too much, or too little. The way the ‘sitter’, or ‘stander’, as the case may be, is rendered is sometimes beyond the artist’s control, given a full rein of how he or she wants to be portrayed. Autobiographical, there is the psychology element of the unconscious, for the artist cannot possible conceal that which is within as much as the intention is clear. Self-portraits have been a favourite of artists since the Renaissance, which is part vanity and partly to project the subject as a persona to be seen. Notable self-portraits include those of Vincent Van Gogh (Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear), Courbet (The Desperate Man), Munch (Self-Portrait With Skeleton Arm) and Frida Kahlo (Self-Portrait With Thorn Necklace And Hummingbird). The colour palette (cheery or sombre), execution, demeanour and mood of the portraited. Here, the one shown up to the chest to focus on the face, looks glum even piqued, troubled, and disgruntled, while the background is rendered in pale lemon yellow. It is a left-brain pigment that can evoke emotions veering between joy and anxiety.Anthonie Chong graduated in Graphic Design from the Perak Institute of Art in 1991. He won the Philip Morris Asean Art Award, Malaysia in 1998. In 2000, he switched to caricature-like iconography fusing eastern surrealism with digital technology, namely his e-monk creations which morphed into @-monk in 2010, which was represented in three series – Community, Gaia and Mechanism. He had his first solo at the X Pub and Gallery in Penang in 1974. He had worked as an art teacher (Art Design, Kuala Lumpur), graphic designer, illustrator and lecturer at Art Direction (1992-1995), before helping out a relative in his business.
Dimensions: 123cm x 91cm
Artist or Maker: ANTHONIE CHONG
Medium: Oil on canvas
Date: c. 1990s
Provenance: Private collection, Kuala Lumpur
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