The Lure of the Biographical
On the (Self-)Representation of Modern Artists by Sandra Kisters
The Lure of the Biographical zooms in on the supposed relationship between the art and the personal image of artists.
The book explores how visual artists use their personal history and image to make a name for themselves, and how they try to control how their artistic output is interpreted. At the same time, it investigates how other parties such as art critics, biographers, photographers, filmmakers, art historians and art dealers link artists’ lives to their work.
The framework for studying the (self-)representation of artists focuses on the textual and visual means used by artists as well as others. Through three detailed case studies of the image and work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, American painter Georgia O’Keeffe, and British painter Francis Bacon, the book demonstrates what mechanisms and strategies are at play in creating the artist’s image, from the nineteenth to the late-twentieth century, and, in addition, proposes a model for future research into questions of (self-)representation.