Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress

Tuesday Tales – The Woman In the Mirror


Inside, Outside

Inside, Outside


The mirror is a common motif in my mother’s artwork.  It was prominent, obviously, in her mirror-themed exhibit.  Mirror images are not only a necessary part of the printmaking process, but also appear in many of my mother’s prints to distort and mystify images.  I have seen her hand write paragraphs in mirror image so that they will appear inverted in her prints.  Symbolic mirrors also abound in her work.  Her pieces, such as Inside Outside, often play with duality.  The left-hand-side, monochrome portion of this piece, what I choose to be the Inside, is presented in the first-person.  This face looks as though it might be looking in a mirror, like this is how my mother sees herself.  The face on the right-hand-side, however, is looking away, is covered, is in color.  This second, Outside face might be how others see her, might be her in the ‘real world.’  Because her gaze is not present here, this version of my mother is more objective.  Her own judgement doesn’t give this half of the print any bias since she doesn’t witness it like she does when her mirror image is presented in monochrome.  Which side is the truer version of my mother?  How do mirrors change who we are?  Mirrors provide one of the only ways to look at ourselves, yet many people perform for themselves when they look into mirrors, so how honest can this view be?

I am currently working on a short story (spoiler alert) in which the protagonist is a young girl’s imaginary dragon.  This dragon doesn’t know what he looks like.  He has never looked into a mirror.  As the story progresses and he finally gets a glimpse in some particularly reflective water, he sees himself, not as her imaginary dragon, but as the monster that lives under her bed.

So does looking into a mirror allow my mother to see her true self?  Or does looking into a mirror transform her into something else?

Inside, Outside, an 8″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $200, unframed.


Author: chiaink

World travelled yet never weary, eloquent and evocative, Chiarina's artworks sing with a sensitive and sensuous spirit.

5 thoughts on “Tuesday Tales – The Woman In the Mirror

  1. Very intriguing discussion and image. And beautiful. I’m so glad I stopped by as something seems to be wrong with my Reader and I didn’t receive notification of this post :(. Thank you for the inspiration, Chia and writer/daughter :). xo

    • Intriguing to me too to read my daughter’s interpretation of the image. My idea with this image was to present the monochrome image as the face we present to the world, that is, an incomplete one; whereas, our full nature, in color, is rarely seen in its entirety. But I love Daniela’s take on it too! We do perceive a distorted sense of ourselves all the time. How can we not? Impossible to be objective. Thanks, Dani, for your wisdom and finish that story, am dying to read it!

  2. Mirrors have always fascinated ad intrigued me. They are our masks, at the same time our one true face. I wonder if we would see ourselves the same way, if the rest of the people were mirrors — reflecting ourselves onto them.
    This is a compelling piece portrayed from an interesting perspective. Thank you.

    • I think other people act as our mirrors all the time reflecting back what we show them. We are a different person to everyone we come into contact with, don’t you think? Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  3. such a thought provoking one! cheers!

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