I have been researching artists recently, I found that some of the following had something to contribute to the ideas and thoughts I am having, some more than others.
She is very honest about herself and celebrates her natural self, she doesn’t change to conform to what she thinks the viewer wants to see. In society today, it has become “normal” to conform to what we think is expected of us. Natural is becoming less acceptable unless it is a trend that everyone follows. Frida Khalo painted self portraits of herself not because she was self obsessed or narcissistic, but because she said that that’s what she knew best. I was drawn to this artist as I am looking at the narcissism of much of today’s society and how ‘selfies’ are becoming an everyday occurrence. The selfies appear to be a way of fishing for compliments and are always controlled so that the subject is shown in the most flattering way possible (in the view of the selfie taker) so its interesting that the artist had different motives for producing many self portraits.
I’m also drawn to the self portraits of the artist painted whist dressed to please her husband as this establishes a desire and need for approval from an artist noted for her preference to be accepted for who she is.
Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931) Oil on canvas 39½” x 31″ Museum of Modern Art Albert M. Bender Collection San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Sophie Calle is someone who I have looked at a lot before, I only just found this image. It came from a story she told of a date she went in where at the end of it her date told her he didn’t want to see her for a second date cos she ate like a pig. I don’t think she was bothered so much by missing out on the man, but what he said stuck with her forever- to me this comes from a preconceived idea he must have had about how women should behave. It seems that today, women/girls are expected to look a certain way, not by men but by peers. This would seem to arise from images from popular culture and the need to appear made up and photo ready due to the constant pressures of devices with cameras. We are not allowed, like Sophie Calle, to let our mask slip and behave/look in a normal and natural way. Sometimes letting our flaws show.
The Pig (2001)
She has a series of photos called fallen princesses and it shows how Disney princesses might look in real life highlighting how picture perfect looks and glamour are unachievable 100% of the time. Also how real life issues that matter are constant such as illness and death. I think that this has become an issue amongst young girls over recent years. At a recent symposium I attended, I spoke to a Councillor for teenagers who raised concerns that not looking perfect was a reason to seek help. I think that this artist demonstrates the need to understand what really matters and what does not.
The artist used her own body in her art and made a project during the time of her illness that caused her death in 1993. she believed in showing truth and imperfections.
This kind of life documenting is a complete contrast to what goes on today. Many people use social media to make known to the world how they look at their best or to show off in some way, sometimes they will put themselves down in an attention seeking way to attract compliments and reassurances. The artist is clearly not doing this, neither is her work done in a way that would appear to be seeking sympathy. She is matter of factually showing what there is to see.
The artist here is combining text with image and in such a bold way. The use of text has become so much more important during everyday life today. We use hashtags to accompany our online portraits of ourselves, the words used to follow the hashtag is making a statement about what we want you to believe our image is about but not in the same way as a title or label. It is used in a such a way that leads the viewer to believe that he should be thinking in a certain way and to draw attention to a particular aspect of the picture. I am currently looking at how in social media, the hash tag appears to be used to make sure that the image or subject is not misinterpreted. Barbara Kruger is also emphasising that what the text says is of more importance than the image.
I find the mobile use here and the use of texting interesting, it displays how the use of our devices has become the most comfortable way of communicating for many of us. We invite the outside world into our homes and our digital presence infiltrates the fabric of our physical being. The large scale of the printed piece on fabric demonstrates the importance placed on the digital aspect of our lives.
I read and watched Alone Together early last year, the author tells all about the downsides of being connected constantly by our devices. Being alone is treated as something that needs to be cured rather than used as a time for useful solitude. Alone Together discusses how the digital documentation of our lives online using social media is infiltrating our physical being. public spaces are no longer limited to when we step outside the front door. Spaces we share extends beyond physical public spaces, parks, shops, nightclubs and bars. As I have been demonstrating in my recent experiments.
Today, we are always hearing news updates about celebrities, things that happen in TV programmes we may or may not watch makes headlines. Warhol created this artwork after Marilyn Monroes death, the faded right hand side could represent her fading after death. It also speaks to me about the monotonous repetition of images regularly posted to the internet. The image of the film star is repeated in the artwork highlighting how fame relies on the recycling of images.
Sarah Lucas created this news article mounted on wood to highlight how women are portrayed in popular culture. The artist was inspired by reading books on feminism and pornography and also was looking to use cheaper materials for her work. She turned to newspaper imagery. The fact that newspapers were still the main source of news at that time makes it a powerful medium to represent how people view the world and to demonstrate the power of the medias influences. Sarah Lucas was concerned that the women were being portrayed as sex objects and the most unmistakeable way of showing this was to simply display the news report as it was printed, but mounted on wood to elevate it. I am exploring tabloid newspapers as a medium for art at the moment, we now use mobile devices and computers primarily to keep up with what is going on in the world, the use of wood is also an interesting factor here as it implies old ways and an obstruction of technology.
Jeroen Van Loon
Analogue Blog (2010)
The artist became interested in digital culture and its influence in 2010, he graduated with a project called Analogue Blog. He wrote weekly to blog followers by traditional posting methods about how his life had changed without the internet and a computer. From then on his work has been about the influence of digital technology.
Life Needs Internet (2011)
Jeroen Van Loon started the Life Needs Internet project because he wanted to know what people in remote parts of the world thought about the internet. He invited people to send handwritten letters to him telling how the internet influences their lives. The letters were the added over film footage of people in far away societies and cultures who had little or no access to the internet or computers. Some had no knowledge of it at all. I have contacted the artist and will be taking part in this project.
This artists work is similar to what I am currently experimenting with,
I want to bring reality together with our online presence, to highlight modern worries and fears born of social media and popular culture and apply them to real life, showing the pressures that online life documenting puts us under in our reality.
I came across Anthony Gormley some time ago while visiting Crosby Beach where I saw the installation Another Place (2005). The artist explores the concept of the body as a place where we reside. The series Massive Blockworks (2011-2012) breaks down the human form into simple structures, basic forms yet the posture and positioning of the body is clear. The work is particularly of interest to me as I have been working with pixilation in film to show how the internet impacts our physical being.
The work Exposure (2010) explores the body and the changing environment, I feel that due to the presence of the internet and online living that our environment is constantly changing around us. Especially what we once clearly considered to be public space as something that was outside of our four walls. Now public space is inside the intimate space that is our bodies.
Dancing in Peckham (1994)
The artist dances in front of a camera in a busy shopping centre to music that only she hears in her head. Her behaviour is a contrast to her surroundings. She is demonstrating the conflict between what goes on inside our heads and the physical presence of reality and how we can become absorbed into ourselves and train our thoughts away from the happenings going on around us.
The way that she dances uninhibited, throwing a vast array of shapes with her body seemingly unaware of people passing her by, greatly reflects in a humorous manner how many people behave online today on social media. Almost as if they don’t realise the world is watching, behaving in a way that may be better for their self respect and dignity if they kept it to the privacy of their own bedroom and perhaps kept what is going on in their head out of the public domain.
I discovered this artist on 17th May, so I am still researching his work. I have looked at some of Stop Motion Studies -Series 7 in which he has studies human behaviour on public transport, as I am studying human behaviour of a kind it struck me as a relevant piece of work. In particular my films based in London and on the underground. I will be looking into this artist more over the next few days.