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Welcome to the Museum of selfies

Last updated on: April 05, 2018 11:21 IST
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Get your selfie sticks out, because believe it or not, there’s now a museum of selfies!

IMAGE: The brainchild of escape-room designers Tommy Honton and Tair Mamedov, the museum will conclude on May 31. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images 

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat…. Selfies are all the rage on social media and to celebrate these self-portraits, Tommy Honton and Tair Mamedov have opened the Museum of Selfies in Los Angeles -- an interactive museum that explores the history and cultural phenomenon of the selfie, with roots dating back 40,000 years.


IMAGE: The museum's holdings are a mix of wholly original artwork and masterpieces. As the creators said, they wanted everything to pay homage to the self-portraits. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The museum houses various exhibits including one mimicking the rooftop of Los Angeles’ Wilshire Grand Centre, the city’s tallest building. And if that isn’t exciting enough, there’s the “bathroom selfie” area configured as a two-sided room and an exhibit for the ubiquitous “food selfie.”

The museum will spotlight the pics of David J Slater, who devised the viral “monkey selfie” -- itself the subject of a copyright dispute -- as well as Riccardo Scalise’s “Mr Selfie” self-portraits taken with some of the most famous people in cyberspace.

IMAGE: Museum goers will be able to enjoy themselves in this Daryl Carey installation, who creates three-dimensional patterns across walls using lines of tape – a concept the museum describes as a “selfie magnet”. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

There will also be an exhibit dedicated to the pitfalls of narcissism, examining the unusual number of deaths from ambitious selfie attempts.

IMAGE: The bathroom selfie area also makes its presence felt at the museum. Photograph: themuseumofselfies/Instagram

Museum goers can expect to eye selfies aplenty, yes, as well as interactive, selfie-ready elements and deeper ponderings into the whats, wherefores, and hows of #whyweselfie.

IMAGE: The museum is nothing if not cheekily self-aware, hence this piece illustrating the potentially destructive nature of the selfie. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Selfie sticks are “encouraged,” if you’re wondering, given the fact that so many museums have banned the contraptions, which allow one to capture a selfie from a beyond-an-arm’s-length distance.

IMAGE: Can you imagine taking a selfie from the characters in the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood? Now, you actually can do it too. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Speaking to the brains behind the museum, Honton was quoted as saying, “Selfies have a surprisingly rich history, and go back as far as people have been making art. Rembrandt did hundreds of self-portraits, Albrecht Dürer five, Van Gogh dozens … What’s the difference?

“Yes, artistic technique and scale is one thing, but in reality, if cell phones and cameras had existed, everyone would have taken them.”

IMAGE: Why do we need a selfie museum? Here's what the website says: Over a million selfies are uploaded to social media every day. Whether you think they're the most amazing thing ever or the low point of human culture, selfies have a firmly-cemented place in our modern society, but also have roots going back to the most ancient and primal aspects of our species. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The museum also houses fun facts about the selfie trend: women take pictures of themselves more than men, for example, and while 65.4 per cent of selfies in Sao Paulo are taken by women and 61.6 per cent in New York, the divide is more extreme in Moscow, at 82 per cent by women. 

IMAGE: A woman takes a selfie in a Van Gogh-themed installation. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

IMAGE: The museum also houses interesting facts such as women take more selfies than men. So, click away... Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

So, if interested, arm yourself with $25, a pout to boast of and your camera and get clicking!

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