Never apologize for selfies

15 October 2013

“Never apologize for selfies,” is phrase I came across when researching (using the word ‘researching’ loosely) Instagram for hashtags pertaining to my current artist obsession, Carrie Mae Weems. American photographer, Carrie Mae Weems, recently won the MacArthur “Genius” Award and is best known for her “Kitchen Table Series” where she documents herself sitting around a kitchen table.  A low hanging light illuminates her as she engages in seemingly typical household activities. This is her personal view on the world, “I endeavored to intertwine themes as I have found them in–racial, sexual, and cultural identity and history–and presented them with overtones of humor and sadness, loss and redemption.”  There may be a couple of kids seated with her, a lover, or for her most recognizable piece, admiring herself while primping her hair and makeup. Weems plays into the public’s fascination of ordinary life, a modern day selfie.

I was thinking about this notion of “not apologizing for selfies,” and we’ve all rolled our eyes at person who clogs up our social media feed with incessant self documenting #selfies. I know I have, and promptly unfollowed him or her. But, I think about some of the most famous artists of our time including Weems, Frida Kahlo, Van Gough, Leonardo Davinci; all who have used themselves as their subject for some of their most well-known works.  I don’t find them narcissistic at all.  Even a few of the selfies I’ve gathered today as well as a few famous faces, I’d like to consider them as reminders of how they felt that day.  Which, to me is a reminder to live in the moment – which we could all use as a reminder, and for that not apologize.

 Dasein, [ˈdaːzaɪn]) a German word which literally means being there or presence (da – there; sein – being.)

It’s the fundamental concept of existentialism philosophy. The expression Dasein refers to the experience of being that is peculiar to human beings. It’s a form of being that is aware of and must confront such issues as personhood, mortality and the dilemma or paradox of living in relationship with other humans while being ultimately alone with oneself.

A few of the greats:

Kahlo’s most famous piece, and a personal favorite of mine. She created “The Two Fridas” during her divorce to Diego Rivera. It’s said that this self-portrait was a depiction of her struggle during the divorce, with her right side having her heart broken, while the Frida on the right remains tranquil, whole and complete with the love of Rivera. I’d like to think that Frida-right is how she projects to feel once the pain of her heartbreak subsides.

I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity. -Diana Vreeland

I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.”  -Diana Vreeland as told by Jeizel .

Fernando Botero "First Communion."

Fernando Botero “First Communion.”

they can also serve as reminders not to do something. Like cutting bangs heading into summertime.

Selfies can also serve as a reminder not to do something. Like cutting bangs heading into summertime.

someone I admire on Instagram: Froyholtbakk

Froyholtbakk: Someone I admire, who admires herself and her surroundings.

 EAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT Self Portrait, 1984 Acrylic and oilstick on paper mounted on canvas

Jean-Michel Basquiat. Self Portrait, 1984.

Featured Image: Carrie Mae-Weems.

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