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Selfies shine as art in SF State exhibit

Selfies of all shapes, sizes and styles wrapped around the Cesar Chavez Student Center Art Gallery this week for the opening of its pop-up exhibit Selfie: The Fine Art of Self Portraiture.

Exploring the culture and tradition of self-portraiture in today’s society, the exhibit features pieces in mediums including photography, video, paintings, drawings, and sculptures. The majority of self-portraits were grabbed from social media websites such as Instagram and Facebook.

Selfies emphasize the photographer’s choice to show how they convey themselves to the world, according to Art Gallery Manager Carolyn Ho:

“I’m sure if we had this similar selfie show in a different demographic, say in Boston or Texas, that the group of people would have very different looks and very different feelings with different poses.”

Most selfies on display were of people with an affiliation to SF State. Curator Ines Diot said she enjoys the creativity with which people’s self portraits were taken:

“A lot of people we asked were really excited about it. … I would get a lot of random texts from people of just photos of themselves. I have a folder on my phone of other people’s selfies so it’s pretty funny.”

The gallery received more than 100 submissions for the exhibition.

“Selfie” was recognized as the international Word of the Year in 2013 by the Oxford Dictionaries in both the UK and U.S. They define it as:

“Selfie (n) A photo that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smart phone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

The exhibit continues until Wednesday.

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