Self-portrait

Olev Subbi Self-portrait 2007 acrylic, oil, masonite 54 × 43 cm

Similarly to his previous self-portrait, Subbi defined himself as an artist here, for we can see paintings hanging on the wall behind him. The room behind the artist’s back is his studio on Liivalaia Street in Tallinn. Subbi did not, however, over-emphasise his profession, as the paintings and the handrail of the stairs alluding to his studio remain unobtrusively in the background. The focus is on the 77-year-old artist’s self-depiction in a meditative, but also oddly unrestrained mood. Subbi looks directly at us, and he is conservatively but not too formally dressed, with the top button of his shirt open and the flaps of his leather waistcoat unbuttoned. This gives the impression of casualness or simplicity. The painting of a self-portrait was not a ritual in which he exalted himself but a glance in a mirror: this is who I am, this is how I feel.