I’m fascinated by selfies. There’s something charming, disarming and alarming about them. There’s something absurd about the fact we do them. There’s something disturbing about the amount of time and effort we put into them. Selfies aren’t new, of course: Dürer spent hours gazing at himself in the mirror and put what he saw there onto canvas and photographers have been taking them for years but it wasn’t until somebody put a camera into a mobile phone that the high art of the self portrait became a simple hashtag.

I’m fascinated by selfies because they seem to want to tell me something and I like trying to work out what that might be. They’re like personal little secrets or a story (or a lie) that is trying to be told.

I’m fascinated by selfies because they are utterly ridiculous and I love the ridiculous. Some of you may remember when I bumped into Jedward and posted a picture.

It’s a selfie, taken by the Jedward on the left who insisted on taking it. He took four before he was happy with it.

I’m fascinated by selfies and I’d like to paint them. I’ll be painting some of mine. I’d like to paint yours. This is going to be a little project that I’ll be doing over the course of the year. I don’t paint enough and I promised myself (and my brushes) that I’d start painting again. As my daughters keep reminding me: “dad, you used to be an artist” and even though I’m probably not a very good one, I do enjoy painting a great deal. I’m not sure where this is going to go but I think it might be fun.

If you’ve done (or do) a selfie on Instagram and you’d like me to paint it, then do let me know. You can either send me the Instagram link per Email or pop the link in the comments of this post. I can’t promise that I’ll paint them all (in fact I’ll be surprised if any of my 8 readers bothers with this) but I’ll have a go and show you all how I’m getting along right here on the blog.

Good evening. Oh, and happy new year.

7 Comments on Selfies.

  1. An eccentric point of view, isn’t it? All selfies seem to earn on this pitiless stage we call the internet, is scorn. Yet almost every selfie is happy, unpretentious, lighthearted, and—notwithstanding Jedward’s 4 takes—spontaneous.

    Maybe a selfie is about all the spontenaety we can safely risk. We don’t like our image under the control of others very much, do we?

  2. Do you think that they’re really spontaneous? I have the sense (which is based upon my own vanity) that people take their time in an effort to frame themselves into the story that they are trying to tell about themselves.

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