Las Meninas Selfie

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This selfie is another interpretation of a category of selfies which has gained popularity- the Las Mninas Selfie. The name is derived from famous 17th century Spanish painter Diego Velázquez’s “astonishing royal-portrait-plus-self-portrait, which ricochets among the subjects, switching up who’s seeing whom from where” (Saltz n.p.). The Las Meninas Selfie is a picture of a selfie during conception and there recently have been several famous examples including Obama’s Mandela Funeral Selfie and the Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar SelfieWith the Las Meninas Selfie meaning may be lost in the making. There is a set of meanings that is created between the the persons taking the selfie and their camera aviewer into this equation may still complicate this further. This makes the Las Meninas Selfie a complicated image to interpret appropriately and it cannot be assumed that we as an audience understand what the meaning of the image is.

These types of selfies bring to light a sort-of transcendent meaning of the selfie itself. The viewer is urged to think about what the selfie means and why it is occurring. It points to an “invisible thought balloon over the subject” (Saltz n.p.) and highlights what it means to be human at this point in time and why the selfie is so popular. The selfie is a way for us to communicate and document our lives in ways that we have not previously utilized. It is a way for us to share our adventures, accomplishments, and tragedies. Yet the onlooker is not necessarily included in making these meanings. The Las Meninas Selfie represents us as selfie-creators “engaged in what Hegel called ‘pictue-thinking [… or, in a more contemporary way…] selfie-thinking” (Saltz n.p.)- the act of meaning-making on the part of the subjects of the photograph is recorded at the very time of the inception of the image.

With the Las Meninas Selfie it is important to consider that meaning may be lost in the making. There is a set of meanings that is created between the the persons taking the selfie and their camera and a separate and completely different set of meanings between the person recording this scene. Introducing the viewer into this equation may still complicate this dynamic further. This makes the Las Meninas Selfie a complicated image to interpret appropriately and it cannot be assumed that we as an audience understand what the meaning of the image is.

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