A self-portrait

I did this a day or two ago
using red carbon copy paper,
which I didn’t even know existed.

red_selfie_large

I created four versions of my self portrait and will be compiling all four into one piece, using old Communist propaganda posters from China and Russia as inspiration. My materials included plain white drawing paper and red carbon paper.¹

I was walking around Beijing about twelve years ago and came across a wonderful neighborhood with a beautiful lake, a bridge across the water, and many old buildings. It was . The area hadn’t been gentrified and overtaken with high-rises. This was the Beijing of old, back when it had charm and character.

I was walking along marveling at the sights when I came upon a man selling old propaganda posters. There was a big stack of them piled up. On top was Mao urging his countrymen to do whatever. It was iconic imagery. I wish I had bought it.

I wish I had spent more time there, looking through the old Chinese posters. But I was already loaded down with stuff, including a few ink paintings from an art school. And I was tired. Later, we learned it was probably a scam, the art school sale, but the art was relatively cheap. But they were experts at drawing us in and then parting us from our money. I’d like to think that I am more aware and savvy now.

ajh

1. For anyone who wants to learn more about carbon paper, read about it at Wikipedia.

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