Posted by Fashion Junior at Large (in Paris)
A tuileries poser (see fashionologie.com)
Back when I was a reader of this blog, I recall an account of the blogger's catwalk phenomenon that occurs before each show at the Tuileries during fashion week. This morning, I actually experienced this a tiny bit for myself as I accompanied the FashEd to Viktor and Rolf. Although it was pretty remarkable, I knew it had been well documented here and elsewhere before so didn't think much more of it. That is until I paid a visit to the Edvard Munch exhibition currently taking place at the Pompidou Centre.

I think we all recognise this holding the camera at arms length to capture a self-portrait. Classically known as the 'my-space' pose
 His obsession with taking his own picture and painting his own portrait struck a chord in the context of the slightly bizarre Tuileries scene where people know that if they dress right, the street snappers will come running- they're turning themselves into subjects just as much as Munch did himself, even if they don't actually end up taking the picture. In exactly the same way as today's subjects, Munch would experiment with different looks, settings and angles.

 Of course, he wasn't trying to show how stylish he was, nor was he attempting to become some kind of star simply by taking cool photos of himself but he was most definitely exploring a facet present in us all to some degree; our fascination with our own image.

 The exhibition notes explain that Munch took to painting himself at least once a year so that by the end of his life he had over 40 self- portraits, not to mention many more pictures taken on his Kodak Bull's Eye camera which he purchased in Berlin in 1902. I couldn't help imagining what Munch might have made of today's prolific self-portraiture as facilitated by blogs, tumblrs and twitter. But most of all I thought he was a great example of how this level of wonderment about our own image and that of fellow humans is really no new thing. He was perhaps one of the first people to have opportunity to properly indulge it. And now we are positively swamped with chances, we can spend all day posing and snapping if we really want to.

All Edvard Munch photos by Fashion Junior at Large at the Centre Georges Pompidou, until 9th January


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