Rainbow selfy, 2015, oil on linen, board, hand-painted wooden frame, 33 x 25,5 x 2,5 cm

Untitled (self-portrait), 2016, oil on linen, board, hand-painted wooden frame, 34 x 26,5 x 2,5 cm


Michelle Rawlings

Rawlings is interested in the processes of compressing and infantilization of art and art history for the purposes of education or pop culture, which leads her to not only analyzing the rhetoric of school books on art, but also to conjuring up the artistic fan­tasies of teenagers in her work. The point of reference for this piece was an art project the artist did in high school: a series of self-portraits in which she laid down a lot of really heavy wet paint and carved into them before they dried.

In Rainbow selfy the rainbow spectrum is used again, as a motif corresponding with learning at an early age and with childhood development, but also of symbolic innocence. An additional detail added by the artist is how the way the figure’s head is curved—in order to make the theoretical selfie—is similar to the bend in the neck of a Renaissance painting.