Editha Mesina Self Portrait No. 12 © 1997

Editha Mesina: Self-Portrait

March 19 – April 30, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 19
Cuchifritos Art Gallery
120 Essex Street
New York City

Mesina’s work is a creative exploration of portraiture, photographing her reflection in old mirrors, as well as her young children – as an extension of her self. She states, “As a woman and a Filipino-American, my fascination with self-portraiture comes from the empowering potential of this genre. The process of fashioning my own image allows me to deal with issues regarding identity. As photographer I define my subject. As subject, I direct my gaze toward an understanding of the possibilities of the self and the image.”

Mesina’s interest in mirrors go beyond her desire to document her reflection. There is a transformation that occurs in these mirrors, which are imperfect, full of stains and flaws, some have lost their silver. Some of these self-portraits may resemble 17th century Dutch paintings, in others she is transformed into a detail from a Velasquez painting. Others may recall 19th century images from glass negatives or more recent manipulated digital images. Not only is there visual reference to the image-making past, but an unspoken desire to be included in art history’s rich past.

About her recent work, she states, “I have begun to include my young children extending the idea of the self-portrait. I use photography not only as a tool to sharpen my memory for these quickly passing moments but also to create a space for invention. That the photograph can function as a window into these various found worlds allows me to continue in my reverie.”