According to Mirzoeff, selfie became popular in 2012-2013 due to the popularity of Instagram. The selfie has become not only a photograph of oneself but a global visual art that is available for everybody who has a camera. The author believes that the selfie is not an innovation but the intensification, extension, development and expression of the self-portrait (Mirzoeff 30). Furthermore, Mirzoeff explains the differences between the selfie and the self-portrait are related to the incomes of those who want to be depicted as well as the technological opportunities a photographer and a painter are endowed with. Thus, the selfie is available to everybody who wants to take a photo and has a camera. As to the self-portrait, it is affordable only to powerful and wealthy people. Moreover, the author of the essay states that the selfie is a new form of self-portrait which is a fusion of the self-portrait, self-image and the expression of modern art.
Mirzoeff insists that the differences between selfie and self-portrait are in the technology of performing and the depicted subjects. Thus, the selfie is done with the help of a camera that associates it with the modern times. As to self-portraits, they are created by the most famous and talented artists invited by the rich people. Thus, the selfie is the reflection of the current tendencies in the society inspired by the innovative technologies, and self-portrait is the expression of nobility and status. Another distinction between selfie and self-portrait is in the rules of performing (Mirzoeff, 35). Thus, selfie involves the choice and freedom in the expression as it does not obey the rules of optics. As to self-portraiture, an artist is more restricted and limited by the laws of majesty and the will of the character of a painting. The subject of self-portraits is related to the demonstration of the power of absolutism, influence, and richness, and the subject of the selfie involves everything that is related to the expression of the individual.
Mirzoeff demonstrates that the difference between the selfie and self-portrait is in the ways of revealing the identity. The self-portrait reveals the individual’s power and ability to influence other people. For example, the self-portrait The Chief by Fosso implies the depicted man’s need for domination and absolute power to control others (Mirzoeff 60). At to selfies, these are total transformations of self-portraits as they reshape and remake human identity. In self-portraits, human identity is based on individuals’ class, race, sex, and gender. In selfies, human identity is the ability to be different from others adopting innovative technologies and aesthetics of post-modernism. Mirzoeff (30) proves that the selfie and self-portrait belong to the ways that show how people see themselves. Consequently, the self-portrait is the reflection of the imperial self, and the selfie is the expression of personal identity and emotional world. Despite the fact that the selfie is a machine image, it can be more emotionally rich and lively than self-portraits created by the most talented artists who were restricted by the absolute power and authority of those who asked to depict them. Thus, both the selfie and self-portraits are tendencies of the time and community.
Portraiture in My life
Portraiture plays an important role in my life as it is the reflection of my family history, memory about the most significant events and the connection with the closest people. We have many family photographs and portraits at home which perform various functions. First, they are the elements of interior and d?cor that add to our house’ comfort and family look. Second, they unite all our members of the family and reflect the warmest feelings we have to each other. Third, they remind us how our ancestors look like and show that we have some resemblance with them. Moreover, my family has also the portraits preserved from older generations that are of special value as they reveal our origin, family relations and history. Not without a reason, portraits should occupy the place not only in our home but our hearts and souls as the only connection with the family. Furthermore, I believe that family portraits can contain the family secrets and traditions that can be either lost or passed from generation to generation. For example, in our family, it is a tradition to make a photograph on every family holiday and no matter where we are, we always come home for a festive dinner and a family picture. All the family portraits and photographs are sacred for us as they reflect our feelings, emotions, and reinforce our family ties. Our family portraits introduce storytelling as most of them are made on special occasions like anniversary, wedding or birthday. Thus, these pictures can remind us all the special events, all the important decisions that were made and the conditions under which the decisions were made. I believe that no matter whether the portrait is a photograph or a painting, the main thing is that it reflects the necessary mood and provoke the proper feelings and emotions.
I believe that the selfie is a significant indicator of the contemporary culture as it reflects the tendencies of technological advancements and focuses on innovation. Furthermore, the selfie is a way to express oneself and remind other people about one%uFFFDs existence. For young people, it is more than a picture, but it is a way to demonstrate hobbies, interests, way of life and personal mood. Thus, our culture is developing under the influence of innovative technologies that become popular in art. For example, celebrities make their selfies to promote themselves and reinforce their importance and recognition in the society. Selfies are also made at such particular events like Oscar presenting. For example, the most famous selfies in the world are The Oscars Selfie, The Space Selfie, The POTUS Selfie, The Kim K Selfie, The ”Hijack Selfie”, and The Endorsement Selfie. These selfies serve as reminders of the most significant events, contributions made by people; they unity of the society and provide possibilities to become popular in the social media. Finally, the selfie is the tribute to the time and innovative technologies that encourage people to make photographs in the most unusual ways and places. Consequently, times change and bring new tendencies in art and culture replacing the old-fashioned ones.
Mirzoeff, Nicolas. ”How to see yourself.” How to See the World. Penguin UK, 2015, pp. 29-69.