"For the past few years, I've been dreaming about escape," says artist Ann Gordon. "Around the holidays, they play those Bond marathons on TV. You know, he's sorta like my father, my boyfriend and me ..."

Man. The stuff you could read into a statement like that (aside from the glaring identity issues). Here's a character wrapped up in outlandishly glamorous adventures, striking down those who aim to deceive and destroy.

In a recent painting, Bond on the beach became Gordon's surrogate. It actually makes sense if you consider that the young painter just took off for a trip to Europe before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her career. But it doesn't look a damn thing like her.

What defines a self-portrait? In the classic sense, it's an artist looking in the mirror and re-creating what they see (self-portraits came into fashion after mirrors were invented, back in the 15th century). It's also a way to tease out the imbalance between the id, ego and superego. Jerome Ferretti years ago concocted the "Jake Face," in the form of Jake-up cards, Jake cookies — even tattoos, which is kind of like slathering your narcissism on others and making it stick. When asked about the origin of the Jake Face, Ferretti mocks his (and our) megalomania: "Oh, the Jake Face has been around since the Middle Ages."

In self-portraiture, what's repressed gets recorded with the nuance of a face that's been written on a wall. The nature of being takes shape. Internal anguish over inadequacy or an obsession with failure, for instance, becomes a perceivable flaw. Several artists have supplied us with quotes about what attracts them time and again to register mood swings as mere shifts of light. Leyland DeVito invoked Frida Kahlo: "Porque estoy muy sola." Because I am so alone.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Speaking of...

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation