Vintage Selfie

In addition to the self-portraits I have been making over the last several months, I also have been shooting a lot of Impossible Project film; I will be publishing a zine of my Impossible Series within the next few months. I stumbled upon this image while scanning my Impossible images so they can be displayed on my new website; which should be live in the next four weeks, and I thought it was well suited with what I have been sharing. It also got me thinking about the “selfie” vs. the self-portrait. In a society where selfies are everywhere, literally, everywhere, what separates the two? If you think back to the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Polaroid cameras were the iPhone’s and Android’s of today. However, the term “selfie” as we know it today; amongst many working photographers and art enthusiasts alike, is somewhat frowned upon. Is it simply because cellphones are a digital tool? Or is it more of a nuisance than anything else because we are constantly bombarded with that “selfie face”?

Both Robert Maplethorpe and Andy Warhol used Polaroids as a medium for self-portraiture and the work is revered by most. Is it because these images were taken with an “analog” format? And furthermore, in 50 years will our modern day selfie be as revered as the work of both Maplethorpe and Warhol? I personally prefer to not take selfies, yet I will snap one with my Polaroid. This separation fascinates me merely because, it is so pretentiously hippocratic. Art itself is both pretentious and hippocratic, so it is no surprise that many enthusiasts feel the way they feel about selfies. Artists contradict the culture in which we reside all the time. I find it funny, its only a perpetuation of what has been happening all along.

 

Vintage Selfie

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