Reviews

  • "Self-Portrait demonstrates a painter’s startling command of language and her moral power of seeing the world concretely and without subjectivity. Celia Paul’s account of the young woman artist’s struggle towards expression is a story that exposes some of the deepest wounds in our cultural psyche: the ambiguous power of the male artist, the vulnerability and isolation of the woman driven to create, the question of who owns her, of her very body and what it’s for. Written with beauty and candour but without anger, Self-Portrait will yet arouse indignation in its readers, for its delicate exposure of what occurs in the pursuit and misuse of artistic status."

    Rachel Cusk
  • "An insight into the white knuckle determination needed to make great art, and why it is so few women painters reach the heights. An astoundingly honest book, moving and engrossing – full of truths."

    Esther Freud
  • "Self-Portrait by Celia Paul is a valuable document. The precision and intimacy of her writing is as impressive as the empathy and power of her painting. I feel that this book will be important to many readers."

    Frank Auerbach
  • "A wonderfully honest and thoughtful book, unburdened by anger or blame or the need to justify, even though it is conjuring up the presence of such a difficult and complicated man. The words make pictures in my head, just as the pictures make words."

    Julia Blackburn