Art since the Renaissance has been obsessed with the portrait and defined by it as the form of representation made even more iconic through the invention of photography where the notion of the profile became established as a sign of prosperity, prestige and power (Sekula, 1986). This enlightenment tradition of portraiture is not likely to perish at any given future date; the digitalization of the image continues to make the banal snap-shot proliferate at such an incredible rate identifying the thirst for personal representation in contemporary society. The explosion of celebrity magazines, the spread of the paparazzi, and the easy access to digital printers should give us all the more reason why art educators should re-examine the representational value of portraiture as subject matter for the art classroom.


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