Although The Selfie may seem like a relatively new and albeit somewhat obnoxious phenomenon, the reality is that this art form is really almost as old as the concept of art itself…
I’m definitely no Art History expert so to spare revealing just how limited my knowledge is I’m going to stick to very broad statements and include the disclosure: I am 91% sure what I am saying is accurate and/or based on facts that are probably 91% accurate.
The first ever self portrait can be traced back to the 15th century although we can probably argue that it was happening way before that with Egyptian glyphs etc. Artists are generally known for being narcissistic individuals so it makes perfect sense that the self portrait is an incredibly popular art form. If I think back to the first ever art project I ever did, it was most likely a stick figure attempt at capturing my own likeness.
Many may laugh when I present the idea that those over edited front camera, phone photos taken of the user at arm’s length often depicting a idealized and usually stiff version of what that particular human actually looks like is in fact a piece of art but try proving that it’s not! In a world where almost anything can be looked at from an artistic lens I find selfies to be one of the less far fetched ideas out there.
For my book project I decided to make a selfie book. I mean if I’m going to be spending all this time pouring my sweat and blood (literally… those needle pricks! Ouch!) into this thing it might as well be about myself! Instead of taking the easier path a la Kim Kardashian and simply pulling together my Instagram feed in a tangible format with faux hand written captions even less relevant than the photos they describe, I decided to actually turn my selfies into old fashion, hand created (digital) Art.
Here are a couple pieces of artwork from my book and the selfies that served as inspiration.