Discussion Topic: Is a Selfie Art?

Michelle Obama taking a selfie with Bo, 2013

Michelle Obama taking a selfie with Bo, 2013

With the rise of selfies and their increasing accessibility on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, it’s inevitable to see an art exhibit devoted to the selfie. A recent discussion topic was the controversial use of a selfie by Rolling Stone Magazine. This week, two Brooklyn-based curators, Kyle Chayka and Marina Galperina, launched an installation, National #Selfie Portrait Gallery (a snide allusion to  Britain’s National Portrait Gallery that houses portraits of important and famous British people) at London’s Moving Image Art Fair. The installation includes works by emerging American and British artists who comment on the idea of the selfie.  Read a short article in the Atlantic Monthly and watch a short trailer about the art show. Lastly, take a look at a manipulated selfie that makes it look like Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair is taking a self-portrait in front of burning Iraqi oil fields. The selfies in the art installation and the fake selfie of Tony Blair both suggest selfies can be viewed as a type of performance.  What do you think? Are selfies art? Are you performing when you take a selfie?

Read the Atlantic Monthly article on the exhibit here

Watch trailer for the National #Selfie Portrait Gallery here

The DUE DATE to submit your blog posts for this topic is Sunday, November 10th.

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10 Responses to Discussion Topic: Is a Selfie Art?

  1. tamarra says:

    I do believe selfie’s are a form of art. Its art form because I know from expericence it takes one than one shot to get the perfect one. when taking a selfie believe it or not its really a performance. most people take pictures of what their currently doing. since it takes more than one shot it becomes an act. Also most girls comb their hair and re-apply lip gloss before dare posting a selfie on twitter or instagram.

  2. Sixto Vaquero says:

    Selfies are a way a person can show their own portrait of themselves and some may see it as art or as others may see it as just a normal picture of a person. I wouldn’t say selfies isn’t art because with expressions, background or clothing can really bring out a picture when taking a selfie. I believe selfie is art, it is how one is taking the picture which is playing a performance. Most people who have instagram or twitter take their time to look nice, delete and save pictures of themselves to see if they look great or not. Others can see their photos and catch their attention and all I can say is that a photo can really express the personality of a person which I say is art.

  3. Andy says:

    I am conflicted with believing that a selfie is art, just like the early critics of photography I feel sometimes that everyone who has a smart phone or camera can do it so why would it be art. However it does take a certain mind to come up with an end result that is innovative I have personally seen some cool photos that would be considered selfies which were creative which not everyone has the characteristic to be. I do feel certain people evoke the emotions they are going thru very well and present you this mystery that would be considered art. Looking at the very early photographs the one photo that is considered a selfie seems to take my interest and that would be one of the chemists Robert Cornelius. The photo has this mystery and blurriness that not all selfie would be considered for. If selfies are ever excepted to be art I would think people need to take into consideration that with every category of photography there is always going to be a photo that is meaningless to the viewers and to the person who took it, but I’m sure beauty and artistic views can be found in many others.

  4. Fredrick Jah says:

    I think a selfie is art just as any photograph is art. In fact I think a selfie depicts the real meaning of pictorialism. A person gets to capture their own potrait of themselves and express themselves in any way they want. When you are taking a selfie you are your own photographer and you tell yourself how you want to pose. Most defeinelty you are performing when you take a selfie because it is like someone is saying say cheese but instead you are telling yourself that because you are directing yourself.

  5. diego says:

    selfies are art to me because you are not only showing the background, you are showing yourself in situations that look great. they look great to a certain point where people just want to do the same. you are your own photographer so basically you know how you want the picture. you are performing while you take this selfie because you are trying have the people view the picture how your mind/eye wants them to see it.

  6. Mahamuda says:

    If a photography of portraiture can be a piece of art then why not selfie? Some are just taken by others and some are taken by their own. Selfie tells us a person’s personalty and and it has freedom such as, nobody will tell us how to pose because we will be doing our own pose and direct ourself. Then we select a best picture out of approximately 5 or 10 pictures. Selfie is remarkable of every important moment of our life that we capture that we save and share with our love ones. Then everyone edit the pictures to make it more beautiful, add a frame or add a note to make it a piece of art and then present to the little world that they have like Facebook,Twitter or Instagram.

  7. Kevin Roldan says:

    Personally, I feel that if selfies are considered art, then every and all photographs should be considered art. Selfies are just simple point and shoot images that are taken on any given point in time. Usually selfies are taken with a low quality camera that is built into phones and not much thought is put into it other than just having the person’s face with reasonable lighting. But I also feel there are some exceptions, some selfies that stand above the rest, for example the by astronaut Aki Hoshide during a spacewalk or the series of selfies that are taken every day to show changes and ageing, can be seen as art. As for the selfies people dump onto social media on a daily basis, it makes me wish that there could be a better way for a narcissistic to vent their behavior.

  8. Verna Fogg says:

    I do believe that selfless are a form of art. I think any photograph is art. The art of a selfie is something that people have been trying ti narrow done for quite some time. In Instagram I noticed how millions of has tags have the word #selfie attached to photo. There are other sides to taking selfless and that can make you come across as looking vain. Yes, you are trying to capture moments that you want to last a life time but what are the real reasons why we are taking this specific type of photo? Should we view this as us saying “we are beautiful and I embrace it or are we taking them to get attention on social media? It definitely cuts both ways.

  9. Anna says:

    In my opinion, I feel that a selfie is a form of art. When a photographer takes a picture of a model; we automatically consider this to be art. We get a view of the scenery, patterns, shades, lines, etc. When one takes a photo of themselves, it’s a form of expression, a work of art. The colors of ones’ clothes, the details and design’s of the overall image, the background, these are all dynamics that create art. It’s still considered art, weather it’s done by a professional photographer, a friend, or our selves.

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