A man's self-portrait communicates his innermost identity.  Let's see what's revealed within several intriguing self-portraits by skateboard artist Victor Moragriega, who is currently setting Valencia, Spain on fire with his unabashedness as he surfs the wave of life.  Victor gave us permission to reproduce our favorite of his portraits and see what we could decode from them.

Let's begin our exploration with a shot Victor took of himself in the shower:

In this portrait, Victor's eyes are shadowed as if to say, "Don't try to read my expression -- my thoughts and my intentions are my own."  Here he is presenting as a mysterious stranger.  He has allowed us to come close, but we can't be sure if he'll offer a caress or a punch in the face.  His hairy chest is showcased here, offering a darkly masculine balance to the shadowy eyes.  The fact that he's in the shower communicates that he has been dirty.  From rugged outdoor sports?  From a sexual encounter?  We can't be sure, but we're explicitly invited to wonder and to fantasize on our own.  Indeed, this portrait seduces us to daydream -- to "build castles in Spain."

Here's a very different self-portrait, in which Victor poses with a computer keyboard:

It's been said that technology takes men away from the simple, natural ways of living, but here Victor communicates that while he uses technology he is not a slave to it.  Note how the arrow keys seem to suggest that technology can take us in any direction, yet Victor's eyes are directed away from the keyboard.  In fact, his eyes are looking directly at the viewer, saying that it's people who transport him into new adventures.  He has already donned his hat as if getting ready to put down the keyboard and step outside into uncharted territories.  The unshaven face reinforces his image here as a heroic man of the world.

What about this self-portrait?:

Here Victor's purple ruler communicates that he's equipped to size up situations, but he isn't limited by delineations.  He'll scrutinize, but ultimately he'll look beyond the so-called facts and figures and make his own judgements.  The choice of the purple ruler communicates an offbeat nature, as if to say his calculating, scientific mind is colored by an artistic nature.  The closed eye is almost winking, as if to say, "Sure, I'm measuring you up, but not everything in life goes by the numbers."  Even more intriguing, however, is the symbolism of the eye in the triangle, which many will recognize as a feature on the United States one-dollar bill.  The symbol is called the Eye of Providence and traces back to Egyptian mythology.  Victor is hereby expressing that, like the "all-seeing eye," he keeps a careful watch for danger.  With one eye open and one closed, he's also expressing that his vigilance is balanced by self-reflection.  In other words, he has an outgoing nature (the open eye) but is comfortable spending time alone (the eye that shuts out the world).  The stubbled face juxtaposed with the rule quite explicitly says: "I'm rough around the edges."  Wonderful!

We'll explore some more of Victor's self-portraits in the coming days.