Mirzoeff puts into question how we image identity and “the self”. The selfie represents a new era, it has become the visual signature of the 21st century (32). In reference to the traditional painted portrait, the way we represent ourselves and how we want to be seen has shifted over time, Mirzoeff questions how art expresses identity. Through the increase of visual media, the fusion of self-image and the self-portrait creates a digital performance that reshapes the perception of ourselves and others (33). In an era of sharing and intense visual communication, we have moved past speech.
It is important to understand where the selfie originates from and the context is was created in as it stems from a period of transformation. Expressive art sparked gender, race and class movements, it was a symbol of change. The significance of how we represent ourselves and how others see us will only increase due to the rise of mass visual media. By observation and analysis we can gain a glimpse into just how important representation and perception is.
Toulouse-Lautre. Self-Portrait Before a Mirror. Digital image. Self-portrait of the Artist. N.p., 1882. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.