The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Los Angeles museum celebrates the art of the selfie
A woman takes a selfie in a Van Gogh-themed installation on opening day at the Museum of Selfies on April 1, 2018 in Glendale, California. The museum allows visitors to explore the historical and artistic origins of the selfie along with using interactive installations to take selfies. Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP.

by Javier Tovar

GLENDALE (AFP).- There's an art to taking the perfect selfie -- from the angle, to the focus, cropping out that pesky outstretched arm and above all, the smile.

In a celebration of self-portraits in the social media age Tommy Honton and Tair Mamedov are set to open the Museum of Selfies in Los Angeles this Sunday -- an interactive exhibition exploring the history and cultural phenomenon of snapping a photo of yourself.

And for those who think if a moment wasn't photographed, it might as well have not happened -- the good news is that at the Museum of Selfies, selfies are compulsory.

Event planner Lori Nguyen, 45, said she doesn't take selfies very often because "I'm not, like, super young."

But another visitor, Nina Crowe, said she takes "one a day."

Neither missed the chance to snap several at the Museum of Selfies, including at an exhibit mimicking the rooftop of Los Angeles' tallest building.

In reality there's a backdrop photograph of the "ground below" printed on a small platform, from which sprouts a tube that looks like the building's antenna complete with a red signaling beacon.

Add a selfie stick, an "I'm afraid of heights" grimace and a click -- and the result is very realistic.

The exhibition begins with mirrors, perhaps the most basic kind of selfie. But Honton and Mamedov view the concept as something more than just a simple photo.

"The selfies have a surprisingly rich history, and go back as far as people have been making art," Honton explains.

"Rembrandt did hundreds of self-portraits, Albrecht Durer five, Van Gogh dozens. I mean they did their portraits too, what's the difference?" he said.

"Yes, artistic technique and scale is one thing, but in reality, if cell phones and cameras had existed, everyone would have taken them."

Another selfie museum opened in the Philippines in 2015, but there's no sign it stayed open. Meanwhile in Glendale, a Los Angeles suburb, the exhibition is just the latest in the city's stream of quirky museums focusing on everything from rabbits and death to neon and velvet.

'Selfie magnet'
The show is full of fun facts about the trend: women take pictures of themselves more than men, for example.

In Sao Paulo, 65.4 percent of selfies are taken by women -- in New York, 61.6 percent. In Moscow, the divide is even more extreme, at 82 percent.

There aren't statistics for Los Angeles, but Ally Bertik admits she is a frequent selfie-snapper.

"It shows off my good side. And I get to show people like 'hey, this is where I am, maybe you guys should check it out too, this is what I’m doing.' It's just a fun way to like spread you know what I’m doing, show people where I’m at," she explained.

Wandering through the museum, guests will be able to pose with Colette Miller's "Angel Wings" and a work by Darel Carey, who creates multi-dimensional rooms using plastic tape -- a concept the museum describes as a "selfie magnet."

There are pieces by Brazil's Rob Vital, German-Canadian Joseph Nowak, Italy's Michele Durazzi -- and a copy of the Russian government's recommendations for taking a selfie safely, created following several accidents and as many as 12 selfie-related deaths in the country.

Also featured is David Slater's controversial monkey selfie -- which became embroiled in a legal battle over who has the copyright to photos taken by monkeys using his camera.

In a corner, meanwhile, are three statues resembling Michelangelo's "David" -- painted blue with a pink cell phone -- and a Game of Thrones-esque throne created using selfie sticks.

You just "can't avoid" taking a selfie there, says Mamedov, a Russian actor who arrived in the US four years ago.

The Museum of Selfies will be open in Glendale initially for two months. Its founders are open to extending its LA run and taking the exhibition to other places around the US, if not the world.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

April 2, 2018

Retrospective at Museum Folkwang features 120 works by Hans Josephsohn

Asia Week New York rings up $169,819,900 in total sales

Exhibition at the Pompidou Centre explores the Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk 1918 - 1922

Musée national Picasso-Paris dedicates an exhibition to the story of Guernica

Iconic paintings leave North America for the first time for Ashmolean exhibition

Influence of Renaissance prints on Maiolica and bronze explored at the National Gallery of Art

Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

Exhibition presents new works on paper by South African artist William Kentridge

Speed Art Museum acquires Bob Thompson painting

The Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv celebrates its 20th anniversary with exhibition

The Jean-Paul Najar Foundation opens exhibition showcasing Jene Highstein's seminal sculptures

Works by Abelardo Morell, Didier William and Nick Cave latest additions to PAFA's permanent collection

Hungarian artist Ilona Keserü's first solo exhibition in London on view at Stephen Friedman Gallery

In Times of Perseus: Sargent's Daughters opens a group exhibition curated by Sophie Landres

James Tapscott, rising star of international land art, completes a new project in Shenzhen, China

John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

Colorless diamonds, JAR earrings lift Heritage Auctions' Fine Jewelry Auction beyond $3.4 million

Jim Kempner Fine Art opens exhibition with works by contemporary figurative painter Carole Freeman

Pérez Art Museum Miami presents a newly-commissioned video work by Meiro Koizumi

QUAD presents a project aiming to address the stigma of mental health problems in the military

Galerie Ora-Ora opens new gallery space with exhibition of works by Xiao Xu

Los Angeles museum celebrates the art of the selfie

PIASA to offer an important French photographic collection

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful