Odd Nerdrum: Self Portraits

For a painter who took his earliest bearings from Rembrandt, and who was defiantly espoused the values of old mater painting, the self-portrait is the natural-enough genre to pursue. For Odd Nerdrum, the attractions of self-portraiture run much deeper, however.  Nerdrum has frequently alluded to the "conflicted preoccupation with origins and personal identity" that his paintings express, and traces preoccupation to his discovery that his father was not the father that he had known growing up, but a previous lover of his mother's. Also abandoned by his mother at an early age, he recollects of his early years: "I was a beggar in a world ruled by others. The person I found in the mirror was myself, I saw myself reflected in my own eyes, not those of others." Nerdrum's difficult childhood and the isolation he has endured as a painter has greatly intensified the relevance of the self-portrait, a genre at which he has excelled, and for which he has become particularly well-known. This volume collects Nerdrum's self-portraits for the first time, with more than 100 color reproductions.

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