Saatchi Selfies

There’s a new weird and wonderful exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery.

This time it explores the much-maligned “selfie”.

Should selfies be considered art? The Saatchi curators certainly think so. Hastily snapped iPhone pictures sit up alongside painstakingly painted self portraits by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Frida Kahlo.

“In the 16th century, it was only the artists who had the skills, materials and tools to create self-portraits, now we all have that wherewithal through our smartphones.” Saatchi chief executive Nigel Hurst, who came up with the concept for the show.

“For the last five centuries, humans have had this compulsion to create images of themselves and share them; the only thing that has changed is the way that we do it. Selfies are easily the most expansionist form of visual communication that any of us have experienced for generations, which makes them noteworthy in their own right. We can’t ignore them as a cultural institution.”

Warhol and Emin mix with Pitt and Kardashian and there are ample opportunities to throw your own into the ring.

Old masters have their portraits displayed as Instagram posts.

Complete with like buttons.

“These are artists who I guess when we’re at school we’re not asked whether we like them or not – they are held up as people of genius. It’s not to be taken too seriously, but it is nice to give people the opportunity to decide, for example, ‘Rembrandt is not my cup of tea, but Picasso is.’” Hurst.

It’s a lighthearted exhibition, thought provoking and only occasionally a little creepy.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s installation, a room that projects live CCTV footage of you exploring it certainly falls into the eerie category.

As you walk around the room the cameras follow you, zoom in on your face, mark your distance between other visitors. A stark reminder that we’re all being watched, all the time.

Though you do have to wonder how much it matters when as a society we’re conservatively estimated to take over a million selfies a day.

Perhaps my favourite piece in the gallery is called “Pom Pom Mirror” by Daniel Rozin.

A nest of wriggling, furry pompoms undulates and reacts to whoever stands in front of it, creating a silhouette of their reflection.

Amusing guests of all ages.

 

Check my Instagram Stories for a video of it at work (you have to use your phone to access stories, just click on my profile picture).

I think the show is well worth a visit, it’s free and open every day until May 30th.

While you’re in the area, why not make an afternoon of it?

A short walk away, just around the corner in-fact, you’ll find a little square of restaurants.

Polpo’s always a safe bet for a quick lunch.

You can sit out under a canopy of white umbrellas and watch the world go by with a glass of wine.

 

And a creamy bowl of cacio e pepe, naturally.

Sapphire rings

When you’re done, you can wander up the Kings Road and check out the shops.

It’s one of the few streets this side of London which isn’t quite as homogenised as the rest, so you can still find something a bit different, a bit special.

And at the end of the rainbow you’ll find a pot of gold, I mean tea.

Grab a table outside The Ivy and make the very most of their “Chelsea in Bloom” efforts.

Cream jumper // Striped shirt (old – similar)

Skinny jeans // Gingham shoes (bargain of the century)

Navy YSL bag // Pink Valentino bag

A blooming lovely way to finish the afternoon, and not a bad spot to shoot a gallery worthy self portrait either…

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  • That is a one unique exhibition!

    • Rosie

      I think Saatchi specialise in unique!

  • Ooh thank you so much for this Rosie, I will definitely pop over and have a look – absolutely fascinating! I especially love the pompom installation! Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

    • Rosie

      Isn’t it mesmerising? I’d like one above my bed just to gaze at! x

  • Rain

    What a wonderful exhibition! The idea is so current and so in touch with our times – love the Saatchi for always being avant garde and creative…Polpo is one of my absolute favs too oh yum! And your new YSL babe is a mega babe love love love <3 I am a navy girl too and this is going to make me break my piggy bank soon….lol Finally thank you for taking me through this post on an absolutely gorgeous day out in Chelsea 🙂 I miss it so much! Love you muuuuuah XOXXO

    • Rosie

      Thanks Rain x

  • What a cool idea for an exhibition!

    • Rosie

      Very cool! Apparently he came up with the idea with friends over dinner.
      I imagine many selfies ensued!

  • Fabulous post 🙂

    • Rosie

      Thanks Lauren!

  • Laura Torninoja

    What a cool exhibition! I’m so bad at going to galleries or museums, but I might have to try my best to visit this one – it looks and sounds very intriguing!

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Rosie

      I think interactive exhibitions are a good way to get into galleries, they certainly grab your attention a little more than ones where you’re afraid to cough!

  • Beautiful photos, thank you for writing a post on this. When living in London I used to go to Saatchi Gallery regularly and really like their exhibitions. Lovely memories.
    Much love xx
    http://www.lienasnow.com

    • Rosie

      Good excuse to pop back and check it out, Liena! x

  • Lovely post! I’ll definitely head over to the Saatchi to check out the exhibition, it looks so great! x

    Millie | http://www.bymillie.co.uk

    • Rosie

      Let me know how you get on! x

  • Ooh how fun! It’s such a lovely pocket of London and this exhibit sounds very cool. Is it on for a while?!

    Reena
    http://www.lifestyleenthusiast.co.uk

    • Antoine

      She says in the post.

  • Gorgeous photos as always! I have never been to the Saatchi Gallery but it looks fabulous. The best exhibition I have seen recently was Hockney at the Tate!

    The Leach Life | theleachlife.com

  • What an interesting exhibit! It gives you so much insight into the society we’ve become.

  • Kblossoms

    Love that blush pink LV, I have the same one and get lots of complements http://www.kblossoms.etsy.com

  • Jennifer Lively

    What an interesting and timely exhibit! Can’t wait to catch it on my next visit to London. Lively.life

  • This looks like such a perfect day! Love the gallery, love your outfit, and great suggestions for lunch and tea. I must make an effort to at least make it to the affordable gallery part!

    Ellie x

    http://www.shoestringthreads.com

  • What a cool exhibition! I’d love to have tea at The Ivy among those beautiful flowers

    http://www.memoriesofthepacific.com

  • So beautiful! And that exhibit is so mesmerizing. i loved your insta stories of it all

    http://littlewhytebook.com/

  • It looks like an interesting & fun exhibition. Would love to pay it a visit if I only was in London… 😉
    Have a nice day 🙂

  • This is such a cool exhibition, definitely caught my attention – will have to visit!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • The rotating pom poms look kind of scary from the video you posted the other day!! So happy that Exeter now has a Polpo, especially as that cacio e pepe looks infinitely better than the one I can make at home! Hooray, I can finally act on a food craving brought about by this blog 🙂 xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua

  • Wish I was in London this spring for sure! Looks like a perfect day out, and another interesting exhibition.

  • Kate

    I love the exhibition and I love the flowers hanging over you at tea even more!

    xx

    bombshell-to-be.blogspot.com

  • I actually LOVE the Saatchi gallery – they’re always coming up with weird and wonderful exhibitions