New Downtown Exhibit Turns Selfies Into Art

A local artist is taking the ubiquitous ‘selfie’ and turning it into art.

“Tourists Taking Selfies," a new downtown exhibit, takes existing landscapes and adds paintings of people taking selfies.

Local artist Jessica Ling Findley says she came up with the idea in a Chinese restaurant when she noticed old Italian décor left over from the previous tenant.

Findley says she felt like a Chinese tourist in the mismatched space, which is what inspired her collection.

Findley collected recycled landscapes from different thrift shops around San Diego and painted people taking selfies to the existing art, adding a new dimension. Each painting portrays people from different parts of the world, wearing traditional clothing.

“I tried my best to match the landscape with the colors and the style of the painting,” Findley said, “you don’t really notice until after looking at it for a second, that something odd is happening.”

The exhibit features a variety of vignettes which include Kim Kardashian dressed as Queen Elizabeth I with her daughter North in tow, a pair of friends taking selfies on a girls trip in Greece, and siblings hanging out in the desert to cure a sugar addiction.

Findley says she’s fascinated with the selfie obsession.

“It’s something fun and funny, this phenomenon of selfies now,” she said.

Before exhibiting “Tourist Taking Selfies,” Findley created the world’s only inflatable bike ride called the Aeolian Ride. Her artwork has also been shown in the New Museum in New York, the Dublin Museum of Science and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

“Tourists Taking Selfies” is at the Alexander Salazar Fine Art Gallery downtown until March 31st.

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