Self-Portrait 1979 with Pablo Picasso 1909
American, born 1932
Michals believed in using the camera to make what he called “real dreams.” He once described his motivation: “I believe in the imagination. What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see.” With his portraits, Michals seeks to reveal a hidden inner self in the subject. In 1965, he used a double exposure to capture an image of René Magritte facing both forward and backward, giving the Surrealist artist an enigmatic appearance to match his personality and artistic style. A decade and a half later, Michals made this combined photograph and painting of his own head juxtaposed with Picasso’s 1909 self-portrait, referring to his earlier portrait of Magritte and identifying himself with Picasso.