The Mirror Image and the Question ‘Is that Me?'. Philip Akkerman and his Self-Absorbed Struggle with Portraiture
(Paul Depondt) The Low Countries - 2005, № 13, pp. 172-176
How is it possible, year in, year out, to engage in a harsh and unrelenting fight against life and against ageing, provoking time and torturing yourself by continually painting and drawing your own face: that head that changes, those features that wrinkle? Philip Akkerman, a Dutch artist, has painted and drawn himself in hundreds of styles and many guises. He stares into the mirror, into the canvas hanging or standing in front of him, over and over again, asking ‘Is that me?' – every day that same question about ‘the me', about the mystery of existence. Akkerman paints nothing but these self-portraits and yet he says: ‘ If I have one talent, then it's a talent for variation.'.
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