Photo Booth Selfie (2014)
Having made numerous portraits of celebrities such as Tony Blair, Cara Delevingne, and Malala Yusafzai, Jonathan Yeo focuses on the possibilities of portraiture within his practice.
In Photo Booth Selfie, the artist turns his attention to himself rather than taking others as the subject matter of his painting. But Yeo’s self-portrait moves beyond expectations of the genre, as he paints a picture of himself in action rather than sitting still. Wearing a pair of sunglasses, the artist is walking out of an unknown location and is caught at an unpredicted moment, replicating many of the classic elements of photographs taken by paparazzi.
The painting’s title then adds another twist to the painting—although the work is named a “photo booth selfie,” none of the key features of a photograph taken in a “photo booth” is present within the painting. By adding layers of complications to this otherwise banal title, the artist recalls the various ways in which the act of photography is ingrained within our daily lives to shape our private and public images.