"Bikini selfies are my fave."
What does Rembrandt have in common with Kylie Jenner, you might ask. (Aside from a troublesome family and a fabulous array of hats, that is).
Well, both mastered a form of self-representation. The 16th century painter Rembrandt van Rijn is king of the self-portrait - he depicted himself at least 90 times - and each work is majestic, thick with emotion, knowledge and humanity.
Jenner, meanwhile, is queen of the 'selfie'. This 21st century idol takes thousands of photos of herself, posts them on social media, and watches as her followers gobble them up.
One creates timeless monuments to truth, the other disposable shards of artifice. But is this a fair comparison? Is a selfie a self-portrait? Is it art? What's the difference between narcissism and introspection?
These are questions the Saatchi Gallery intend to pose with a new show, From Selfie to Self-Expression, which will be, they say, "the world's first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from old masters to the present day."
If you're rolling your eyes at this point, you aren't alone. Perhaps this is a timely, astute exploration of our digitalised culture and the evolution of art. Perhaps this is cynical marketing, as the hashtags and millennial zeitgeist-y theme and sponsorship by 'the world’s number three smartphone
brand' suggest. It wouldn't be the first time Charles Saatchi has jumped greedily on a bandwagon.
We shall see.
|What||From Selfie to Self-Expression, Saatchi Gallery|
Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London, SW3 4RY | MAP
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
31 Mar 17 – 30 May 17, Ten til 6 daily
|Website||Click here for more information|