Photo: Finnian Croy/Saatchi Gallery
Over the past six weeks, London’s Saatchi Gallery has been quietly holding a competition dedicated to our era’s preferred form of self-expression, the selfie. A panel of judges that included Juergen Teller, Tracey Emin, June Calypso, Idris Khan, and gallery CEO Nigel Hurst handpicked the best ones, which will go on display at the gallery as part of the exhibition From Selfie to Self-Expression. While it may or may not be the world’s first exhibition dedicated to selfies, it’s certainly the first at a gallery of this caliber. And let me tell you, these are not are not your average Lumee-lit, duck-faced snapshots. These are some legit works of selfie art.
Over 8,000 submissions from around the world were presented to the discerning panelists, out of which just nine finalists and one winner were chosen. Winner Dawn Woolley used a careful workaround in her piece The Substitute (Holiday), which features a man embracing a cut-out paper replica of Woolley.
Photo: Dawn Woolley
“Primarily my artwork is a selfie, but not in the traditional sense,” Woolley says in an artist statement. “By creating artwork that establishes me as an object it could be argued that I produce photographs that reinforce stereotypical images of the female body, but with apparent exhibitionism I create a substitute that renders my real body invisible.”
The finalists are Sarah Carpenter, Finnian Croy, Debora De Haus, Ollie Hayward, Felicia Hodoroaba-Simon, Andy Kassier, Van O, Patrick Gonzalez, and Ola Walkow. Their works, which range from a nude body covered by a wall of long hair captured via selfie stick to a couple of tricky mirror shots, will be displayed alongside contemporary selfie-inspired works and their predecessors from as far back as the Old Masters era. The exhibition officially opens today and will go through May 30.
Photo: Gonzalez Patrick
Apparently, each of the honorable mentions will also receive a free Huawei P10 smartphone with dual Leica lens, which is great except that one assumes they already own smartphones, seeing as they entered this selfie competition.
Photo: Ola Walkow