“I love how the most insecure people on Facebook are the ones who post a new self-portrait every 6 hours.” Unknown (from Searchquotes.com)
Who hasn’t been bombarded with selfies lately? Everywhere you turn someone somewhere is posting a ridiculous image of him or herself doing something amazingly unentertaining. Selfies are the visual counterpart on social media of the numerous people who write every detail of their personal day, as they go about it. “I had toast for breakfast.” The selfie posters show pictures of themselves eating the toast instead of writing about it. Occasionally, someone happens to post a selfie that is actually very entertaining but they are the exception.
Journalist, Jerry Saltz, has an article titled, “Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie,” for Vulture.com, stating the selfie phenomena is, “a very big deal for the art world.” Saltz says the selfie is “a new visual genre.” Can he be serious? Maybe the selfie has social or anthropological significance, but to the art world? Will we soon be attending gallery openings of selfie exhibits? Possibly. But does this not appear to be another fad? Another novelty that will soon wear off as we get tired of people’s obsession with taking pictures of themselves?
The article makes comparisons with Van Gogh’s self portraits and other masters to today’s selfie pics. Some selfie’s are witty but compared to Van Gogh? That’s seems a bit like comparing The Real Housewives to Shakespeare. Rembrandt’s self portraits are nothing short of amazing. Bonnard’s self portrait brought tears to my eyes at the depth of emotion evident. So far, not one selfie has produced even a hint of a tear. That could change as the stage of total selfie overload is reached bringing on tears of sheer frustration. Anybody else have selfie saturation?