Re-Vamp; ‘From Selfie to Self-Expression’

By Jo Phillips

Selfies, our guilty pleasure. However much we tried to turn away from them, we always love when our cheeky selfie looks good.

They have become part of our generation, scroll down social media for a minute and you’ll find one, but where and whom did they come from?

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Installation view,Picasso,
Schiele and Velazquez
© Piers Allardyce 2017Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery,

Saatchi Gallery and Huawei teamed together to present you with ‘Selfie to Self-Expression’ that is held in the Saatchi Gallery till the 30th of May. This is the first exhibition to show the history of the selfie.
To answer your question, no it didn’t start anywhere near Kim Kardashian. It roots way back to the old masters, and it digs deeper than meets the eye. The exhibition celebrates that it can be a form of expression.

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Installation view,
Christopher Baker
© Piers Allardyce 2017Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery,

Nigel Hurst, CEO Saatchi Gallery

“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. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Huawei on From Selfie to Self-Expression. The exhibition will present a compelling insight into the history and creative potential of the selfie, while the #SaatchiSelfie competition provides a global platform for Self-Expression. Our commissioning of work by ten young British photographers completes the narrative and highlights the exciting potential of the very latest technology to encourage creativity.”

Seflies don’t just mean pictures taken on the front camera of your phone, there are many key artworks being showcased that allow you to interact. Artists that shall be displayed vary from Christopher Baker, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Juno Calypso, Tracey Emin, Van Gogh, Mohau Modisakeng, Rembrandt, Cindy Sherman, Gavin Turk and Velazquez.


Juno Calypso
Honeymoon Suite
Archival Pigment
Print52 x 102 cm
Edition of 5 + 2 AP
Image courtesy of the artist and
TJ Boulting Gallery

You no longer have to be embarrassed of your selfies after this, as you will see the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and dangerous.

The exhibition doesn’t only cater to the curious, but to those interested in technology as the emerging role of smartphones as an artistic medium of self-expression through the commissioning of ten exciting young British photographers to create new works using Huawei’s recently launched P10 dual lens smartphone co-engineered with Lecia, as part of their artistic practice. These photographs will go on display in a gallery dedicated to world-class smartphone photography.

The #SaatchiSelfie Competition

As part of the ‘From Selfie to Self-Expression’ exhibition Saatchi Gallery and Huawei joined forces to offer artists, photographers and enthusiasts around the globe a chance to show their most creative selfies internationally, and have their work exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, as part of the competition #SaatchiSelfie.

The judging panel selected a shortlist of ten from the 14,000 selfies entered by the public. The overall winner of the #SaatchiSelfie Competition was announced at the show’s launch in London on 30th March 2017.

Dawn Woolley, #SaatchiSelfie competition winner

“I’m amazed and overwhelmed, it’s quite a shock. I’m obviously thrilled as this is very much about how we represent ourselves through photographs, and I think that’s what selfies are all about. They have a powerful potential and selfies should be used in art more. I look forward to that happening.”

To see the award winning selfie, take a trip down to Saatchi Gallery, and embrace your way of Self-Expression.

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