Chantal Joffe

The Front of My Face

A self-portrait a day for a year! We barely manage to look at ourselves in the mirror some days, let alone study and paint ourselves... What a window into the daily thoughts and contemplation of an artist and what a challenging and revealing task to set yourself - Staff Pick

Published on the occasion of a new exhibition at Victoria Miro Mayfair, this new book follows a new series of Self-Portraits by the artist Chantal Joffe – accompanied by a new text by British novelist and cultural critic, Olivia Laing.

On New Year’s Day 2018, Joffe set herself the challenge of working on a self-portrait every day for the coming year. This daily practice – through personal lows and highs, in the shifting white light of a prolonged London winter and the savage heat of New York in summer – has resulted in a series of characteristically unflinching works.

Modest in scale, each is a depiction of the artist’s face or a full-length view, in her painting clothes or, occasionally, naked, titled with the date of its completion. The seriality of this display is immediately striking. Ordinarily, a single self-portrait, perhaps two, might be shown among a wider body of work.

Here, what is true of any single self-portrait – that in embodying their work, the artist invites speculation about their innermost thoughts – is amplified as paintings, ostensibly similar in appearance, are installed throughout the gallery.

Published on occasion of the exhibition, Chantal Joffe at Victoria Miro and Victoria Miro Mayfair, London (11 April – 18 May 2019).

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