Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

What’s in a Self-Portrait?

Self Portrait in a Coat, Ephram Rubenstein
Self-Portrait in a Coat,Ephraim Rubenstein, oil on linen, 38×28
Does a self portrait have to be a visage of the artist? What makes a compelling self portrait in the selfie era?”The Self in Contemporary Self-Portraits,” an article by Art League instructor Ephraim Rubenstein,  written in 2008 for American Artist eloquently explains the role that selfportraiture can play in the life and career of an artist.

The self-portraits of most artists seem to congregate either around their youth or their old age, or in Shakespeare’s words, their entrances and their exits. The contemplation of death becomes increasingly pressing as we get older, as we prepare for our own exits…

Ephraim Rubenstein was born in Brooklyn New York in 1956.  He received his B.A. in Art History from Columbia University and his M.F.A. in Painting from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.  In addition, he attended classes at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, the National Academy School and the Art Students League.

Rubenstein has had eleven one-person exhibition in New York; seven at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, one at Tatistcheff & Co., and three at George Billis Gallery in Chelsea. He has exhibited, as well, at the National Academy of Design, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Maier Museum of Art and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Exxon Corporation and Deloitte & Touche.

Rubenstein was Associate Professor of Art at the University of Richmond from 1987-1998, where he received the Distinguished Educator Award and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  He has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and the National Academy of Design School. He is currently on the faculty of the Art Students League of New York and Columbia University, where he teaches the Literature of Art Seminar and Life Drawing in the Department of Narrative Medicine.

Want to take a class with Ephraim? He will be teaching a workshop on Color Spot Painting  from January 5-6, 2019.



Can't get enough?

Sign up for our weekly blog newsletter, subscribe to our RSS feed, or like us on Facebook for the latest Art League news.

Visit our homepage for more information about our classes, exhibits, and events in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

Share this
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Related articles
For this installment of “Art Bites,” we look into the diptych of America Remembers/The Lives by Hernán Murno in the July open exhibit. Murno’s strong, graphic lines are reminiscent of early American Abstraction art of the 1940s. American Abstractionist work rose from a time of political unrest in response to WWII, and looking at Murno’s piece, you have the feeling that the aesthetic choice was not only inspired by the abstract movement but also reflective of today’s unique political tensions.

Did you know?

You can support The Art League every time you shop through AmazonSmile!

Simply set The Art League as your chosen charity, and every time you shop at, a portion of your purchase will be donated to support our mission to share the experience of visual arts with the community.