The self-portrait has long been a fixture in painting. Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Frida Kahlo are just a few creatives known for their famous artworks that place themselves at the center. Continuing this tradition is Chicago-based artist Seamus Wray. He has recently delighted the internet with his series of self-portrait paintings that have a twist straight out of the movie Inception. What started as a single self-portrait has since morphed into something much more complex. Over the course of five artworks, he has painted himself painting himself…and painting himself again and again.
Wray intends for this artwork to be mind-bending in its execution. “The portraits were a continuation of a previous idea I have explored through my self-portraits, focusing on the concept of infinity,” he tells My Modern Met. Wray has shared every portrait on Reddit, where the pieces quickly rose on the site with upvotes. “They (the paintings) were also a social experiment of sorts, involving the captive internet audience, leaving them guessing if and when there will be another layer.”
Wray’s latest painting features five versions of himself (all wearing the same shirt) and one white cat. As he poses in person with the artwork, he is holding a black cat and a paintbrush. It’ll undoubtedly be the subject of his next self-portrait—although he’s not sure when. “I do have plans to continue them— in one way or another. Self-portraits have always been a theme in my art over the years, and no doubt will continue to be so.”
Wray sells his work as prints through his Threadless shop.