[Originally published March 21, 2013.]
Welcome to the exhibit, Innocence and Narcissism: A Retrospective of Selfies by Becky Jones. This is the first time ever that all of Jones’ selfies are available for public viewing in the same venue.
At age thirteen, Becky Jones moved from Cleveland, Ohio, to Greenwich, Connecticut, where her most productive years of self-photography took place. Her work is characterized by a keen eye for the most flattering angle, the frequent inclusion of an ever-changing cast of BFFs and stunning repetition.
She works entirely in Instagram, varying the look of her work with filters such as Inkwell and Earlybird. To this day, critics remain bitterly divided on her work, with some calling it “sluuuuttttyyyy :/,” while others have hailed it as “Dam lookin good!”
Artist in Bathroom Mirror
This image of the artist reflected in her bathroom mirror calls into question our very notions of what can be achieved with a self-taken shot. The artist, now unconstrained by the limits of an arm’s length, displays her full body in this emotionally raw and revealing image. The glare in the lower left corner of the picture provides the illusion of a spotlight, highlighting the performative aspect to Jones’s work. This picture received over seventy “likes” on Facebook, making it one of the artist’s most well received photographs.
Artist with BFF
Taken at a downward angle, this image of the artist with close confidante Jess is a hallmark example of a traditional self-photograph, complete with the arm extended, dreamlike, out of the frame. The extreme angle creates a fun-house mirror effect, distorting the girls’ heads so that they appear to have massive eyes and foreheads. Critics have speculated that their mysterious close-mouthed smiles may in fact be an effort to conceal unwanted orthodontia.
From the Neck Down
This groundbreaking photograph shows off an impressive henna tattoo. The fact that her head is “cut off” in this image is a possible metaphor for the oppression suffered at the hands of her parents, who would not allow her to go to Tina’s kegger despite the fact that Tina’s parents permitted the party because they would rather the kids drink in the house than on the streets. The artist has not yet shown this photograph to anyone, but is considering texting it to Mike from homeroom.
Close-up on Boat
Each year, the artist’s family enjoys a cruise around the Virgin Islands. This photograph, taken on the upper deck, features a sliver of crystalline ocean in the background. The artist, displaying a bold new hairstyle of beaded braids, sent this photograph to fourteen of her closest friends, accompanied by a heartfelt “Wish u were here ;)”. This is just one in her famous Tropical Cruise Chronicles, a companion series to her Rustic Nantucket Portraits.