Jim Dine: Jim and Loud Shirt, 2003
Looking at the black-and-white photograph Jim and Loud Shirt by Jim Dine, the famous Arthur Rimbaud quote “I am another” spontaneously comes to mind. The artist can be seen no less than three times in the image. While he gazes out from the picture frame in a self-portrait, he is also present as a second, somewhat smaller figure that turns away from the viewer—and from himself. In the background, we see only part of his face, eyes half-closed and mouth obscured by a dark shadow. What initially seems mysterious, as though conjured by magic, can be explained by a detail in the photograph: a self-timer can be identified in the artist’s hand in the right foreground, blurred by movement. Jim Dine took the photograph while standing before a picture that shows him standing before another self-portrait—a staggering of multiple image layers, each created at a different point in time and now merged into one picture. The artist plays a perplexing game here with cropped images, reality, perception, and time.
Dine has used this approach, a personal take on the montage, in multiple ways in his photographic work, with widely divergent and sometimes arresting results. In the picture Jim and Loud Shirt, the artist seems to be engaged in an intense dialogue with himself. The states of mind betrayed by the various images, which show him in several stages of looking and observing, both statue-like and in motion, evoke a critical, attentive, and restless artistic personality who grapples in his work with diverse pictorial solutions. Bearing witness to this interest are numerous portraits and self-portraits in his extensive body of work. Dine has in addition expanded the self-portrait genre to include a surprising, frequently self-referential repertoire of motifs. His tool pictures, the subject of an exhibition presented 2015 at Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, likewise deal with the aspect of artistic self-reflection as a fundamental creative possibility for exploring new perspectives.
Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur