'This Is Not a Selfie' tackles the interesting history of self-portraits

September 10, 2018 by Joanne Milani, Times Correspondent


“Warren Neidich has carried on his own guerilla war with history in his 1993 “Unknown Artist” series. He added his own face to group photos of famous artists of the past. As the “unknown artist,” he appears next to a young Salvador Dalí in one group photograph. He is next to a leather-jacketed Andy Warhol in another. By doctoring the original photos, he declared “an assault on a truly verifiable record,” i.e. the documentary photograph.

Neidich wasn’t the first artist to have fun with doctored identities. In 1927, T. Lux Feininger did a poetic take on stolen identity when he disguised himself as Charlie Chaplin, complete with mustache. You can see “The Little Tramp” in Feininger’s photograph. It’s a hazy face glancing at you through the frame of a picture or mirror. That’s Feininger’s way of telling you that this image is a fantasy.” – Joanne Milani