Selfies At The Museum

Selfies, sometimes-crazy photos taken as you point a cell phone in your own direction, are all the rage these days. In fact, the word “selfie” was named the 2013 word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. My selfies are painted and I use them to tell stories and create imagined worlds. Here are some of the “selfies” that took more than a single click to create:

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In the art world, self portraits are a time-honored tradition. For instance:

  • Rembrandt, who sensitively documented his changing visage and, coincidentally, his evolving painting style in nearly 100 self-portraits. Click here to see some of them. And don’t forget Van Gogh, who did more than 30 self-portraits in one three-year period. Yes, here’s a link.
  • Joan Brown, the well-known Bay Area artist whose life-long interest in self-portraits reflected a storytelling impulse and put allowed her to put herself front and center as the observer of life. (See some examples here.)
  • Local contemporary artist Elizabeth Jameson, whose own brain scans (required because she has MS) have become a unique form of portraiture. (Of course, you can see those as well. Just click.)

Narcissism or creative exploration? You be the judge.

By Joanne

Joanne Taeuffer is an expressive painter. She lives in the Berkeley Hills and Healdsburg, CA, with her husband and their black cats, Oscar Wild and Percy.

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