This Is Not a SelfiePhotographic Self-Portraits from the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Collection

August 25 – November 25, 2018

Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954), Untitled Film Still #5, 1977, Gelatin silver print, The Audrey and Sydney Irmas Collection

This Is Not a Selfie offers a compelling look at the primacy and variety of expressions within self-portraiture from the vantage of the current “Age of the Selfie.” While the selfie can be considered a vernacular subset of the self-portrait genre, it is often a vastly different enterprise than the self-portrait in the hands of an artist. This exhibition features artists who expand the domains of self-portraiture by blurring the distinction between reality and fantasy, artifice and authenticity, and public and private imagery.

Themes of self-reflection, performance, and identity are traced from early nineteenth-century experiments through contemporary digital techniques in outstanding self-portraits drawn entirely from the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Audrey and Sydney Irmas, along with their daughter, Deborah, began collecting photography in the mid-1970s and later focused on self-portraiture in the early 1980s, assembling the most significant collection of the subject in the United States. Through the highly personal vantage point of the self- portrait, this collection traverses the visually compelling and psychologically charged terrain of the genre. This Is Not a Selfie provides an opportunity to view the remarkably innovative and diverse methods photographers use, offering new meanings into our own understanding of the self.