Published at The Guardian, February 2015.
If you peruse my Instagram feed, you’ll find an assortment of images. Food, cats, random things I see on my travels. And pictures of myself, mostly taken by myself. (I am a greedy and jealous person who rarely hands my phone over to people.) People have been taking pictures of themselves, in one form or another, for an extremely long time. Ancient works of art clearly demonstrate that artists painted, drew and sculpted themselves. Self-portraits in visual media have provided fascinating glimpses into how artists perceived themselves and their relationship to the world. When photography was first developed (forgive the pun), photographers used timers to shoot themselves, in part because they wanted to learn how to use the equipment and experiment with portraiture.