Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art
First Reader/Committee Chair
The selfie has become the currency of today; boldly stating: I was here, this is how I felt, and, most importantly, I exist.
This has become our self-reflection. Exploring the self-portrait, as have countless artists of the past, Johnny Shield uses the various selfies as reference for his sculptural works - both empty vessels and sculptural busts. Made from glass these fragile objects are all doomed to break. You, the viewer, are witnessing a truly damned object: the central portrait uneasily rests on a pedestal that is actively electrolytically corroding. While on display, this pedestal will lean more and more precariously, ultimately spilling the glass portrait onto the ground. By participating in the legacy of self-portraiture but producing a self-destructive object, Johnny is simultaneously endorsing and condemning the sacredness of the art object, the selfie, as well as the practice of glorifying the artist.
Shield, John and Shield, John, "Selfie-Portrait" (2018). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 743.