Saatchi Gallery to launch selfie exhibition and competition

The Saatchi Gallery is set to start to explore the idea of selfies as art in its new exhibition. Opening in March this year, the Selfie to Self-Expression will look at modern interpretations of the selfie, as well as classic self-portraiture from artists like Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Velazquez.
To fully explore exactly what makes a selfie art, modern versions, such as the Barack Obama’s photo with David Cameron and celebrity photobombs, will be placed next to famous paintings that explore the idea of self. According to the gallery, it will be “the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from the Old Masters to the present day.”
According to the gallery, the idea of the exhibition is to reclaim the selfie, taking it away from narcissism and showing that it is actually part of self-expression, which has been practiced for thousands of years in various forms.
Chief executive at the Saatchi Gallery Nigel Hurst said: “In many ways, the selfie represents the epitome of contemporary culture’s transition into a highly digitalised and technologically advanced age as mobile phone technology has caught up with the camera. The exhibition will present a compelling insight into the history and creative potential of the selfie.”
Selfie to Self-Expression will also see the gallery working with the technology company Huawei, with the two commissioning ten young photographers from Britain to provide their own contributions in the form of self-expression.
To get people involved on a global scale, Saatchi Gallery is also launching a competition. It is asking people around the world to post their most interesting selfies using #SaatchiSelfie for a chance to have their photo featured in the exhibition. This will run from January 23rd to March 19th.
The winner of the competition will be chosen by a panel of artists, with the prize being a Huawei phone and a photographic experience yet to be revealed.
Glory Zhang from Huawei told the Guardian: “The smartphone has become a tool of artistic expression. The selfie generation is becoming the self-expression generation as each of us seeks to explore and share our inner creativity through the one artistic tool to which we all have access: the smartphone.”
The Selfie to Self-Expression exhibition will open on March 31st and run until May 30th, taking over an entire floor of the Saatchi Gallery.