April 23, 2013
SLIDESHOW: Self portraits by famous authors
by Kirsten Reach
If you were Flannery O’Connor, wouldn’t you paint a friendly fowl under your arm? If you were Hunter S. Thompson, wouldn’t you take a couple of selfies in your favorite sunglasses? Flavorwire recently rounded up twenty self-portraits by famous writers. Here are some favorites:
While Kurt Vonnegut said a writer’s reward is in the moment he hands off a manuscript to his editor, but an artist “gets his rocks off while actually doing a painting. The act itself is agreeable.”
“For the writer of fiction,” Flannery O’Connor said, “everything has its testing point in the eye, and the eye is an organ that eventually involves the whole personality, and as much of the world as can be got into it.” She drew cartoons, too.
When Michael C. Ford found a collection of Bukowski’s drawings in a desk in 1947, Bukowski , “Ah, you hang onto ‘em, kid, they might be worth something someday.”
This sketch is atypical of Henry Miller’s output, as he mainly worked with watercolor. He completed several thousand in his lifetime.
Margaret Atwood’s style is remarkably consistent with her illustrations for In Other Worlds.
Mark Feeney of Smithsonian Magazine Allen Ginsberg’s 70th birthday portrait the look of a “rather sexy, and very dapper, rabbi.”
Sylvia Plath referred to art as her “deepest source of inspiration.”
Jorge Luis Borges was blind when he completed this self portrait.
Truman Capote’s self-portrait. Andy Warhol used to send Capote drawings of everyday things, to which Capote once replied, “How do you reply to a doodle of a foot?”
Hunter S. Thompson took a remarkable number of self portraits, but this one features the best pair of sunglasses.
Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.