Saatchi Gallery opened the first exhibition of selfies and it will be able to watch until 30th of May.
,,I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best” said Frida Kahlo.
Oxford dictionary give a definition of selfie as photo taken and also portray photographer himself. Mostly created with using a smartphones or internet cameras and then posted in social media.
Some people think that first selfie was made hundred years ago. On the photo from the 1913th daughter of Tzar – Anastasia takes a photo of herself standing in front of the mirror.
The selfie has a longer origin in a history of painting which tries to explain an exhibition From Selfie to Self-Expression opened in Saatchi Gallery 31th March. If the question given in the title of an article was a problem for someone, the answer to it is a selfie. Both Rembrandt van Rijn and Kim Kardashian likes to make self-portraits, of course by using different tools to do so. The big oeuvre of Rembrandt includes many his selfies (self-portraits). This kind of portraits not only documented the aging process and are some kind of autobiography of painters but also are good material for research of changing a way of painting.
In 17th century only a painters were able to make selfies, when these days everyone can do that. The only condition is to have a smartphone. This exhibition was brought by collaboration with Huawei Mobile. In space of gallery appeared big screens that are connected with smartphones to give visitors opportunity to decide which one of the photos or digitalized paintings they wants to “like” similarly like it happens in social media everyday.
This exhibition present digitalized self-portraits of Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Diego Velazquez, photo portraits of Andy Warhol, George Harrison and many more famous selfies that went viral in our times. Next to the self-photos of David Beckham or Leonardo Di Caprio viewers can watch photos of Kim Kardashian, who can not be missed in this exhibition. Celebrity in 2015 published an album called Selfish contains her selfies.
It is not a first time when a cultural institution has to manage with selfies popularity, but first when it is considered as an art object. Three years ago National Gallery allowed visitors taking selfies. People of cultural business make an objection about this way of spending time in art galleries without contemplation of great art pieces. It takes only three years to go from thinking about allowing tourists to take selfies in space of galleries to elevates this kind of photos as an art.
Chief Executive Nigel Hurst explain reasons of posts selfies in social media: "It’s not about sharing our humanity, it’s about really sharing a version of our identity that we would like people to believe.” The idea of this exhibitions was born a year and a half ago. Gallery and author of this exhibition don't face any criticism, even if some people questioned whether a selfie can constitute a work of art. Hurst says that everything can be art if people accept and believe that it’s art, which as we know happened in art history many times before. He also makes a question "How will future generations choose to present themselves?”.
The exhibition has also a polish accent. Krzysztof Wodziczko in association with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer made an installation contains 12 surveillance cameras. Technology that they used to create visual effects present viewers themselves on the wall of the gallery during taking selfies. Artists want to make awareness of the downside effects of living in a selfie-driven world.
Art through the centuries changed under the pressure of time and given answers to the questions that they are made. We can ask: Is it a selfie already an art? Maybe the fact that in space of art gallery this kind of photos was brought is an answer itself, or maybe this question will be answered very soon. This first exhibition of selfies is able to watch till 30th of May in Saathi Gallery in London for free.