This is your brain on selfies: The science of self-portraits, faces, art and the mind

Let’s start with one of art history’s great quotations, attributed to René Magritte: “A face isn’t a face unless it’s facing you.” I’ll get back to you on that, but first, a brief foray into Bosnian standup comedy. A Bosnian comedian residing in Slovenia isn’t the sort of person you’d expect to inspire deep thoughts on Surrealist painter René Magritte, Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, the neuroscience of facial recognition and the history of self-portraiture. But then again, Perica Jerković is no ordinary comedian. There are comics whose only goal is to be funny. And there are those who have a message, a philosophical bent, and their means of delivery, of prompting you to think deeper, is through comedy. Lenny Bruce was perhaps the ultimate example of this — he wasn’t particularly…


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