Each image in ''Self, Model, and Self as Other,'' an exhibit of 50 self-shot photos from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's photography collection, reveals a facet of the psychological structure that Sigmund Freud defined as superego, id and ego. ''Self as Other'' correlates with the superego's job of restraining the untamed desires of the id. These photographs aren’t retouched. Instead, the artists use addition or subtraction: hiding behind things so as to shield some part of themselves, or dressing in flamboyant attire, as in the case of Kimiko Yoshida's The Divine Bride Praying, a piece from her 2003 Intangible Brides series. With ''Model,'' the unrestrained id takes over. Ryan Weideman's Self Portrait with Transvestite shows the artist in what appears to be a taxi. He's in the front seat; the transvestite peeks through a hole in the back. Juxtaposing himself — a man dressed in a conventionally masculine suit — with the transvestite — a man in full makeup and feminine attire — affords the viewer two different meanings of what it is to be male. Balancing the extremes of the superego and the id, the ego is the basis for the pieces that pertain to ''Self.'' In Robert Mapplethorpe's Self Portrait, the artist sits in the background, while, in the foreground, his hand clutches a skull cane. Mapplethorpe, clad all in black to the point where he blends in with the background, places himself farther away from the camera, drawing attention to the cane.
1001 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77004
Region: Kirby-West U
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Through September 29. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. Free with paid general admission.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: July 14. Continues through Sept. 29, 2013