Museum of Selfies, a three-month pop up, offers an interactive experience for you (and your cell phone).
By Julie Carlson, Photos by Tiffany Rose Photography
Why selfies?” asks Tommy Honton, co-founder of the Museum of Selfies. “Selfies sound like they’re a new thing. They sound like they’re part of what society judges as the downfall of mankind because people like to touch their phone screens. But selfies have a surprisingly rich history and depth. They’re much more complex.”
The Museum of Selfies is a three month (April 1-June 30) limited pop-up engagement created by LA-based game designers and writers Tommy Honton and Tamir Mamedov. So, get on over there before it’s gone! The duo came up with the concept about four to six months ago. They wanted the museum to be more than just a bunch of Kardashians on the wall. They hoped people would come away with a new understanding of the history of the selfie.
First off, you can learn about the early beginnings of selfies via a timeline. From cave drawings to the Egyptians to portraiture work by Rembrandt to a recreation of Van Gogh’s Parisian bedroom where he painted his dark moody self-portraits.
Move on to a 1920s black and white photography studio where you can snap your own selfie. Then learn about the how photography and cell phones got their start. From there, you can discover a cool collaborative project called Selfie City where data was collected from every major region through Instagram. Did you know Russia has more women than men in photos? Did you know that Bangkok has the fewest?
Did you know that Russians smile less in photos then anyone in else in the world? And Bangkok smiles more than anyone? Did you know that older men post more photos than women on Instagram?
Other exhibits include Matt Elson’s kaleidoscope Infinity Box and contemporary artwork by Darel Carey, W Rob Vital, Colette Miller and more.
Remember the “oops moment” at the 14th Factory in LA where a visitor taking a selfie knocked over sculptures worth $200,000? Well, you don’t have to worry about that here. The Museum of Selfie’s even pokes fun at that unfortunate incident.
There’s also works from famous selfie artists such as Riccardo Scalise known as “Mr. Selfie” and David J. Slater, a U.K. nature photographer behind the viral “monkey selfie.”” David shared the famous selfie with us and we also donated a portion of the proceeds of the museum to a charity that helps the preserve the rainforest where the crested black macaques are located,” Honton says.
There’s interactive exhibits such as the World’s Longest Selfie Stick and a 3D photo booth where visitors can smash through social media. Both were invented by the ingenious tech company Eventstag.
While you’re there, don’t forget to take a photo sitting in a stunning parody art piece like the Iron Throne in “Game of Thrones.” The museum’s throne is decked with cell phones. It’s representative of the struggles of people who clamor to be the kings and queens of social media. On your way out, stop by the gift shop for selfie-related items.
“Bottom line is we hope people walk away from this experience with a reaction. Even if it’s them saying, ‘Ugh selfies are still awful’ but at least they can acknowledge that selfies are not a new phenomenon or a self-made achievement,” says Honton. “Something that has been around a long time, depicting the self. The obsession with the human form. They are even bigger than that. at selfies aren’t just about the empty vapid culture, but capturing moments of heroes, of fun journeys, of fun discoveries.”
Ages 0-4: Free
211 N Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203
Monday – Tuesday CLOSED / PRIVATE PARTY BOOKINGS ONLY
Wednesday – Thursday – 12 PM – 8 PM
Friday – Saturday – 12 PM – 10 PM
Sunday – 12 PM – 8 PM
A lot of street parking on Brand. Parking structure on California and Orange with first 90 min free.