Back & Forth

Vincent & Gianluca

18.03.2019 | By PAOLO BOCCHI

The holidays are around the corner. Christmas, New Year, Epiphany. Lit fireplaces, tables laid, vacations on the snow: all occasions to take pictures, capture moments, record memories. It’s selfie time, therefore. Whatever that means

Vincent Van Gogh

This is a selfie.
Probably one of the most famous selfies in the world, if not, even,
“THE” most famous selfie of all time. It was “taken” by Vincent Van Gogh, in 1889, using a mirror, his reflection, brushes, colors, and a canvas.
Legend has it that this is, in practice, the last “selfie” that Van Gogh took of his soul, before leaving this Earth. Perhaps this is why it has become so famous, over the decades. It’s such a terribly charged, intense, powerful selfie.
Vincent’s facial expression is calm enough to look almost like the face of a statue. The eyes, on the other hand, give life to a restless, wandering, flickering look. The reddish beard surrounds the whole, accentuating the whole chromatic effect. The face is still. Everything else, around, swings, ripples, wobbles; it’s insecure.
This man looked inside himself. He went deeper than a diver-psychologist.
He came, probably, to the essence of his life.
The agitation becomes hallucination.
The journey has come to an end.
This is a selfie.

Un post condiviso da Gianluca Vacchi (@gianlucavacchi) in data:

Gianluca Vacchi

This is a selfie.
The selfie of a man who lives, and feeds, on selfies.
He is a hyper-contemporary man, who handles the tools and alphabets of today with dexterity. A middle-aged man, who takes photographs of himself continuously, following Andy Warhol’s lesson to the nth degree, reiterating himself in a continuous reverberation of his self. It’s like looking at yourself in the mirror all the time, but doing so at such a speed as to avoid the risk of looking inside.
Everything is concentrated on digital exposure, on media exhibition, on the essence of the fleeting moment. I am here, now, here I am for you: tell me something, let me feel that I am alive.
Let me know that I exist: that I am someone. Then I’m off. To look for new ideas for new poses for new “likes”. An endless carousel of images and colors, where the only constant in continuous evolution is him: Gianluca Vacchi, icon of a time without memory, made of frames in search of approval, of chasing static securities at supersonic speeds, and of continuous portraits taken without really wanting to ever portray himself.
This is a selfie.