As a follow up to a piece from 2021, I decided to let Chat GPT4.0 re write my original post. First, lets use a self serving picture, from this afternoon. This is the continuation of exploring the value of self, through the personal imagery conversation. The original post can be found here. You will need to scroll, as this is from the old site and not paginated the same way. I found this to be a fascinating test, especially given ChatGPT's ability to catch the nuances I was intending, in the original. The above's self glorification imagery not withstanding, I think it is an interesting topic for the artist to explore. All the peacock blue in the photo ...we can discuss that in the future ...Maybe over a drink.

ChatGPT 4.0 re work

The Self-Portrait Conundrum: Defining Value Beyond Social Media Validation. In today's digital age, the selfie seems almost meaningless without a social media presence. While this might not be a significant concern for some, it sparked an intriguing thought about the importance of image if no one is looking. Last week, amid the unusual 40-degree cold mornings in LA, I took this picture while heading out at 7:45 a.m. But why? This question leads us down an unexpected path.

A Brief History of Self-Portraits

Self-portraits have been around since the invention of the camera. Though they've become more accessible over the past century, the underlying concept has remained the same. However, social media has provided a platform for self-portraits that never existed before, offering validation and acceptance by the masses. But if one isn't participating in social media, does the self-portrait lose its value? This brings us to the age-old philosophical question: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Defining Value in a World Obsessed with Validation

In a world where external validation has become the norm, do our efforts still hold value if nobody is paying attention? Can humans truly thrive without validation? These questions plague not only artists but everyday individuals as well. As artist Eric Fischl once said, "Nobody can pay you enough for the love you're looking for, and of course, everything they pay you is too much." This quote encapsulates the struggle for self-worth in a world driven by likes, followers, and superficial recognition.

The Artist Within Us All

Today, even non-artists grapple with questions of value and worth concerning their image. The rise of Instagram has turned ordinary people into aspiring photographers, obsessing over the details of their self-image. In a way, capturing the perfect selfie has become a form of artistry. However, unlike artists who can step away from their work, humans cannot escape their own reflection.

The Female Perspective

Women, in particular, have faced external validation challenges since time immemorial, giving them a unique perspective in navigating this world. Many women's rituals and routines around beauty and self-care resemble the dedication and passion of artists.

Creating Without Validation: A Test of True Passion

The ultimate question remains: Is your message so important that you'll continue to create without validation and acceptance? If you can still make selfish choices and prioritize your craft, perhaps you'll be fine without the likes, followers, and accolades. After all, seeking reward and value from others is a treacherous path to tread. If you're in it for the right reasons, the road may be difficult, but the journey will be worth it.

In Closing

As you reflect on these questions, take a moment to explore the work of Eric Fischl, a renowned artist who has navigated this terrain with grace. As for me, I'm still figuring it out, but I'll be sure to update you along the way. And this time no dirty mirror pic.