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The National Selfie Portrait Gallery Is a Real Thing, And It’s Art

Made up of solely selfies, the gallery attempts to explore how people see themselves

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While older generations might moan and groan about “kids these days,” some art galleries are recognizing the culture that is being created as real art. Take the National #Selfie Portrait Gallery for example—an exhibit that’s opening in October at the Moving Image Contemporary Video Art Fair in London. Made up solely of selfies, the gallery attempts to explore how people see themselves.


Animal New York’s Kyle Chayka and Marina Calperina and the masterminds behind the project, and they write:

Self-portraiture has a long artistic heritage, with devotees including Rembrandt, the compulsive self-documentarian, Courbet, who styled himself a suave, long-haired Bohemian, and van Gogh, the fragile genius, bandaged at the ear. Today, the genre belongs to anyone with a camera. Self-portraiture is the most democratic artistic medium available, not merely as a performative outlet for the social self, but also as an intimate route of personal catharsis for today’s artists.

The gallery will include short-form videos created by 16 artists who are exploring the concept of the selfie. There has been a lot written about the value of selfies from a sociological perspective, and now artists are hoping to make the selfie’s role in art clearer, too.

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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