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'Selfie' pop-up shows the indulgent portraits aren't just a modern day phenomenon

PUBLISHED: 12:58 08 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:53 17 November 2015

The Selfie exhibition

The Selfie exhibition

Archant

Mostly considered a 21st century narcissistic smart-phone enabled phenomenon, a new exhibition sets out to demonstrate that the 'selfie' has in fact existed as an art form for centuries.

The Selfie exhibitionThe Selfie exhibition

Smartphone and digital camera companies nowadays market entire product ranges around the self-indulgent shots, but a pop-up in Old Street station has jumped on the band wagon to show these ‘explorations of the self’ have been ever-present throughout history, from classic Renaissance self-portraiture to Warhol’s iconic 60s pop art series.

The quirky pop-up gallery celebrating “The Art of the Selfie” will also host a series of workshops looking at the psychology and skills behind taking pictures of yourself.

The gallery features an array of interactive areas including a ‘selfie-station’ where guests will be able to dress up and pose in the guise of iconic portrait subjects, wearing Frida Kahlo’s eyebrows or Andy Warhol’s iconic wigs to share on social media. 
There’s also a condensed history of portraiture through the ages, placing the ‘selfie’ in the context of the development of artistic expressions of the self.

Gyr King, founder and creative director of art retailer King & McGaw which set up the gallery, said: “We all think of the selfie as a modern day concept but our pop-up gallery and shop will explore the artistic origins of the selfie – from classical portraiture to Warhol’s iconic pop art pieces.”

The Selfie exhibitionThe Selfie exhibition

A schedule of short talks and workshops are being laid on for those seeking a cultural lunch hour or an after-work art session.

A competition has also been launched – ‘The Art of the Self’ asking aspiring artists to submit their arty self portraits, reclaiming the 21 st Century ‘selfie’ as an artform, with the prizes including a publishing contract with King & McGaw.

The idea is for young creatives and emerging artists to ‘re-examine the theme of the self and explore it in new, imaginative ways’.

Competition entrants will form part of an online gallery, and will be able to come into the shop and have their arty self-portraits printed and framed for free.

The pop-up will be in Old Street Underground Station until November 14.

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