How You See Yourself Analysis

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How to See Yourself By: Nicholas Mirzoeff How you See Yourself is an essay written by Nicholas Mirzoeff. It is about how photographs and paintings are viewed by the observer and how the image is presented can leave the observer with multiple impressions. These impressions may leave the viewer with not only an impression of the individual portrayed in the painting or photograph, but also the society in which the image was produced. Mirzoeff touches upon how a self-portrait and a selfie are very similar. He uses the Webster dictionary definition of selfie and gives multiple examples of the context of the word. He uses the selfie as a juxtaposition to the self-portrait because he believes that it continues the legacy that self-portraits have (p.29). some of the examples he uses for individual selfies that have a large impact on the world were the selfies taken by Ellen DeGeneres at the2014 Academy Awards and the selfie taken at the funeral of Nelson Mandela by the Danish prime minister Helle…show more content…
An example is the painting Las Meninas by Velazquez which is a painting that when initially observed gives the viewer the impression that the individuals in the painting are stopping and staring directly at the viewer. Mirzoeff explains that this painting is in fact a self-portrait of Velaquez by using a mirror. However, it is painted in such a way that an individual at the time will notice that the little girl is in fact the princess Infanta and therefore the person that the people at staring frozen at is the king and queen (p.32-33). Mirzoeff goes back and explains that the mirror the painter is using “does not obey the laws of optics so much as the laws of majesty…” which is referring to the painters use of the ordering of society and how the subjects in the painting are depicted in a diarchy (p.
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