Chiaroscuro of the Teenage Self
About the work
This self-portrait delves into my personal experience of growing up and transitioning into my teenage years, exploring the challenges and stereotypes commonly associated with adolescence. As a teenager, I vividly remember the stark contrasts between my life as a primary school student and the pressures and expectations that came with entering high school as a result of puberty. These include conforming to ‘realistic’ beauty standards, experiencing the fear of missing out on social events, and enduring failure in various aspects of life. Additionally, there was constant pressure to elevate my social status within the ‘popularity hierarchy.’ Through this piece, I aim to convey the loneliness and fear that many often feel as a teenager, exemplified by my surprised and panicked facial expression. Additionally, I used a visual technique that emphasizes the stark contrast in colour between my left and right side. The left side of the piece portrays what is often visible on the outside of teenagers, such as their countenance, while the darker right side represents the complex emotions and thoughts that are hidden within them. This artwork serves as a reminder that regardless of popularity, intelligence, or physical attractiveness, most teenagers experience these challenging emotions more than others might think they do.