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Abstract

This paper looks to María Izquierdo’s paintings, Prisioneras (Prisoners) of 1936 and Sueño y presentimiento (Dream and Premonition) of 1947, as case studies for activating a theory of triple self-portraiture. The theory reflects how plurality arises in the singular or in single significations of the self and disrupts homogeneity in thinking about identities for the self and others within the genre of self-portraiture. In activating a theory of triple self-portraiture, I found three forms of the self in Izquierdo's works: the self as oppressed (the past); the self as oppressing (the current); and the self as an emancipator (future). Although the works were created ten years apart, they similarly integrate indigenous motifs and surreal renderings of space, life, and bodily forms; pictorial narratives wrought with crisis imagery, such as physical entrapment or corporeal dismemberment; and depict multiple renderings of the artist’s face within one composite frame. How might the viewer make sense of it all? Triple self-portraiture provides a possible thought-map for analyzing Izquierdo’s self-portraits with highly comparative and trans-ideological, trans-methodical, and trans-historical lenses to ultimately expose interstitial spaces, wherein, the artist’s many selves discreetly appear in visual languages all their own.