Self-Portraits in the Age of Selfies

January 10–February 9, 2019 | Open Thursday-Saturday, 12-5pm
Mercury 20, 475 25th Street, Oakland, (510) 701-4620
between Telegraph & Broadway
Artists Reception: Saturday, January 19, 4-6pm
First Friday Art Murmur: February 1, 5-9pm

Self-Portraits in the Age of Selfies at Mercury 20, January 9–February 9, 2019

What are we to make of artistic self-portraits in the age of the selfie? The once rare self-portrait has become commonplace. Is there any special significance left in making self-portraits? This exhibition explores these questions and others through painting, sculpture, installation and photography.

Jo Ann Biagini, Nick Dong, Carlo Fantin, P.K. Frizzell, Andrew Miguel Fuller, Pantea Karimi, Kathleen King, Sara Lisch, Jill McLennan, Charlie Milgrim, Johanna Poethig, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Fernando Reyes, Neo Serafimidis, Elizabeth Sher, in collaboration with: Carol Benioff, Brooke Holve, Marilyn Levin, Linda MacDonald, Bonnie Neumann, Jeannie O’Connor, Vickie Jo Sowell and M. Louise Stanley, Ruth Tabancay, Leah Virsik

Leah Virsik Loveworn, 2017–19, a favorite sweater of the artist, dustpan. Photo: Mary Curtis Ratcliff

Pinned away from the wall, black strips of decayed material are loosely knitted together, forming a long narrow tapestry with gaping holes. Worn out, the fabric hangs by mere threads and tiny bits of material form a small pile in a dustpan on the floor.

Originally, this was a favorite sweater of mine, one I wore beyond its useful life. I remember buying the pullover in an upscale boutique but later upon looking at the tag, I discovered it was actually from J. Jill. Slightly surprised that I had conflated multiple experiences, I realize that my memory, like this material, is also subject to erosion over time.