theatlantic:

This Man Took 445 Photobooth Portraits of Himself Over 30 Years, and Nobody Knows Why

For three decades, starting in the 1930s, he did the same thing. He’d sit inside a photo booth. He’d smile. He’d pose. 
And then—pop! pop! pop!—out would pop a glossy self-portrait, in shades of black and white. There he was, staring back at himself … and grinning. And, sometimes, almost scowling. There he was, mirthful. And, sometimes, almost scornful.  
The man—nobody knows who he was—repeated this process 455 times, at least, and he did so well into the 1960s. Nobody knows for sure why he did it. Or where he did it. All we know is that he took nearly 500 self-portraits over the course of thirty years, at a time when taking self-portraits was significantly more difficult than it is today, creating a striking record of the passage of time. 
The man’s effort is now being shared with the public in the form of a collection being shown at Rutgers’ Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick. “445 Portraits of a Man,” the exhibit is appropriately called, takes these early, earnest selfies and presents them as art. 
Read more. [Image courtesy Donald Lokuta]

theatlantic:

This Man Took 445 Photobooth Portraits of Himself Over 30 Years, and Nobody Knows Why

For three decades, starting in the 1930s, he did the same thing. He’d sit inside a photo booth. He’d smile. He’d pose. 

And then—pop! pop! pop!—out would pop a glossy self-portrait, in shades of black and white. There he was, staring back at himself … and grinning. And, sometimes, almost scowling. There he was, mirthful. And, sometimes, almost scornful.  

The man—nobody knows who he was—repeated this process 455 times, at least, and he did so well into the 1960s. Nobody knows for sure why he did it. Or where he did it. All we know is that he took nearly 500 self-portraits over the course of thirty years, at a time when taking self-portraits was significantly more difficult than it is today, creating a striking record of the passage of time. 

The man’s effort is now being shared with the public in the form of a collection being shown at Rutgers’ Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick. “445 Portraits of a Man,” the exhibit is appropriately called, takes these early, earnest selfies and presents them as art.

Read more. [Image courtesy Donald Lokuta]

Parmigianino - Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror1524
The glass chose to reflect only what he sawWhich was enough for his purpose: his imageGlazed, embalmed, projected at a 180-degree angle.The time of day or the density of the lightAdhering to the face keeps itLively and intact in a recurring waveOf arrival. The soul establishes itself.But how far can it swim out through the eyesAnd still return safely to its nest?John Ashbery - Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror  (excerpt)1975

Parmigianino - Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
1524

The glass chose to reflect only what he saw
Which was enough for his purpose: his image
Glazed, embalmed, projected at a 180-degree angle.
The time of day or the density of the light
Adhering to the face keeps it
Lively and intact in a recurring wave
Of arrival. The soul establishes itself.
But how far can it swim out through the eyes
And still return safely to its nest?

John Ashbery - Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror  (excerpt)
1975