The Oxford Dictionary team has designated “selfie” as the Word of the Year, and it is not hard to see why. With the ubiquity of camera-loaded smart phones and social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, everyone is a photographer these days. And snapping shots and sharing them with friends, family, and the rest of the world, has never been easier. With actual film you had to develop the film and then expose the actual photographs, or pay a lab to do it for you, where now no sooner is the image snapped then it can be sent or uploaded for millions to see. All that ease translates into more photos being taken and evolving modes of photography. Case in point, the selfie, which of course has a long history in representational art with self portraits, in drawings, paintings, and, of course, photographs. Oxford University Press has a brief overview of the history of self-portraits in photography here.
Below are a few titles to explore in the history of self portraiture:
Auto focus : the self-portrait in contemporary photography / Susan Bright – TR681.P56 B75 2010
Artists’ self-portraits / Omar Calabrese – N7618 .C35 2006
Concepts of identity : historical and contemporary images and portraits of self and family / Katherine Hoffman. – NX165.H58 1996a
Mirror images : women, surrealism, and self-representation / edited by Whitney Chadwick – N8354 .M57 1998
American photobooth / Näkki Goranin – TR680 .G68 2008
Reflections/refractions : self-portraiture in the twentieth century / edited by Wendy Wick Reaves – N7619 .R44 2009