Id, Ego, Superego: An Investigation of Self-Portraiture

This exhibition explores self-portraiture through Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theory of personality, in order to gain a deeper insight into both the conscious and subconscious states of mind of some of the most celebrated artists from the 20th and 21st Century. By applying Freud’s theory, the show illustrates the extent and importance that the human psyche plays when artists tackle themselves as their subject matter.

Historically, self-portraiture dates back centuries to ancient Mesopotamia and was typically used as a means of reference or for educational purposes. It was not until the Renaissance that self-portraiture became a tool for self-promotion and cultivation; illustrating an artist’s ability to capture likeness, as well as elevating or highlighting their own status. This shift was partly due to the cheap manufacturing of mirrors that became more accessible and wide-spread.  The ability to use oneself as a model was also economical. Consequently, an artist’s pursuit for aesthetically pleasing portraits gradually gave way to experimenting with the depiction of their own image, and self-portraits evolved into a form of self-exploration. As the artist plays a unique dual role of being both the subject and creator, glimpses of their intimate psychology are often revealed in their work.

The theory of personality is one of Freud’s most influential and enduring theories of psychoanalysis and argues that the human psyche is made up of three components; the ‘Id’, the ‘Ego’ and the ‘Superego’. The Id being the primitive, unconscious part of one’s personality that is devoid of any reality or moral compass; its only objective is to seek pleasure. The Ego encompasses rational thought and quells the Id’s irrational demands with reality. The Superego holds an individual’s moral values and understanding of social norms and strives to cultivate its ideal version of itself.

Featured artists:

Avigdor Arikha | Victor Brauner | Marc Chagall | Marlene Dumas | Zeng Fanzhi | Keith Haring | Maria Lassnig | Robert Mapplethorpe | Henri Matisse | Yue Minjun | Thomas Ruff | Jonas Wood

Duration 02 October 2019 - 20 December 2019
Times Mon-Fri 10am - 6pm
Cost Free
Venue Omer Tiroche Gallery
Address 21 Conduit Street, London, W1S 2XP
Contact 442074995143 / /

Related Events

Jerry Kaye - Look good, feel good
Jerry Kaye - Look good, feel good
Artlyst Benefit screen prints by Simon Patterson. Exclusive Editions
Open Source Salon with Hauser and Wirth - A new monthly discussion group
Advertise your next show on Artlyst from £200 per week