Saatchi Gallery: From Selfie to Self-Expression?

 

If you're anything like us, you rolled your eyes when you found out "selfie" was bring added to the dictionary and used in campaigns for household goods. Though warming up to the idea of being able post pics of ourselves shamelessly without ridicule, the now-common act still seems like an exercise of millennial egocentrism we'd like to avoid (aka, do in complete privacy because we can't yet admit how often we take them). That is, until now... Because this Spring, London's Saatchi gallery is making us question everything we've ever thought about selfies.

Redefining the selfie as a digital vessel of self-expression, the Saatchi Gallery contrasts selfies of today with portraits of the past in such a way that calls us to question: does Selfie = Self-portrait? In the words of the gallery’s chief executive officer, Nigel Hurst: “The exhibition will present a compelling insight into the history and creative potential of the selfie.”

The gallery's exhibition, "Selfie to Self-Expression" will take us back to some of the most iconic self-portraits (or shall we say selfies?) of nearly every artistic era...

The most epic photo bomb ever by artist Velasquez himself (hint he's on the left):

Diego Velazquez, 'Las Meninas,' c. 1656

Diego Velazquez, 'Las Meninas,' c. 1656

Van Gogh is famous for his series of self-portraits, which are often understood as insight into his mental status at the times of his painting:

Vincent Van Gogh, 'Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear,' 1889

Vincent Van Gogh, 'Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear,' 1889

Alongside these masterpieces will be a number of images of selfies that have "broken the internet" in the years since the rise of the technological advances.

'Orbiting Astronaut Self-Portrait,' 2012

'Orbiting Astronaut Self-Portrait,' 2012

'Barack Obama selfie with Danish Prime Minister'

'Barack Obama selfie with Danish Prime Minister'

But the best part of the exhibition is that it stays in tune with the inclusive nature of the ~art form~ by holding an international competition for the chance to have your selfie on display. According the Saatchi Gallery's website, "Entries must take the form of a photographic selfie. We encourage entries that are experimental and innovative that take the selfie in exciting new directions." The competition ends March 12th and the exhibition takes place from March 31st - May 30th 2017... Get snapping!

Images from the competition are now available to view on Saatchi's website, and they're pretty rad.