From Jesse Wender’s wonderful story on photographers’ self-portraits for The New Yorker:
There’s been a lot of talk about selfies recently. The Oxford Dictionaries named “selfie” the word of the year for 2013, and “Museum Selfie Day,” last month, encouraged museumgoers to take creative selfies in front of art. But what distinguishes a selfie from an artist’s self-portrait? A smartphone and a Tinder account is the easy answer, but, in general, we ask more from a self-portrait than we do from a selfie: more consideration, more composition, more psychological insight and aesthetic care. From family photographs to annual staged series and quirky snaps captured in a street windows, here is a selection of my favorite self-portraits.
Jen Davis writes about her self-portrait, “Untitled No. 40”: [This photograph] is part of an ongoing series of self-portraits. Through the act of photographing, I invite the viewer into the past eleven years of my private life, exploring the vulnerabilities that I carry, associated with a lifelong struggle with my body, feelings of isolation, the battle to recognize beauty, a quest for intimacy, and sense of acceptance. As I photograph myself, it helps me to think of the camera as a third party, creating a physical distance between the camera and myself, and an emotional distance between myself and the person being photographed. I was creating a character whom I didn’t necessarily know.