are actually transfigurative self-portraits. Two aspects seem to be central to Selfshaves
: the first is the act of shaving, a common routine with which most men start their day. In fact, shaving considers to be the male equivalent to the female make-up. However, they differ insofar as women “add” cosmetics to their faces, producing “masks,” and men “remove” a thin layer of their skin and thus “unmask” their faces. Markovic realized each of his Selfshaves
by shaving and washing off his face, using a white towel to dry his skin only once. Given that each towel bears traces of only one shave, this series evolves as a sort of diary in which no image is similar to the other. This is also suggested by the various items of clothing that the artist painted on the lower part of the towels.
The other equally important feature of Selfshaves
is the trace of the body. It is the trace of Markovic’s face that in fact makes these pictures self-portraits. Although the towels may preserve some traces of soap used for shaving, the bodily traces – the artist’s traces – are crucial: these are small spots of his blood, which are semi-visible, as well as many invisible traces of his skin. Both of these bodily fragments could be genetically proved as unmistakably belonging to his own body. In other words, Selfshaves
are paintings mainly produced by touch, by the contact between the skin/face and the canvas/towel. Such a metonymic procedure has been seriously discussed in the “theory of the icon” conceived in Byzantium, where it was known as an image called acheiropoietos (Greek for "not made by the human hand"). Legend has it that Christ imprinted his face on a shroud and in the Western medieval context, such an image became known as vera icona (or Veronica’s Shroud). Contemporary theories of art and photography that are based on a semiological approach recognize the artworks produced by contact with the body as indices, signs that are born in the proximity of nature: in this case, the human body.