The photographic self-portrait

Picasso's interest in photography led him to cultivate a new variation of the self-portrait – the photographic self-portrait. His initial experiments revealed a still incipient familiarity with the technique, which he would gradually develop. His early self-portraits were made in Paris in 1901, followed by others over the next few years, particularly during his Cubist period when the traditional self-portrait had all but disappeared. These works sought to document his production and to project the image of the artist in his atelier. Sometimes, however, the notion of the self-portrait refers to the construction of painstaking sets by the artist, regardless of the authorship of the photographs. Years later Picasso turned to pictures of himself taken by other photographers, and even in photo booths, which he used as supports for playful compositions he would then illuminate, as we frequently find in his mature works.