Visual Curation #1

Mathieu Grac photographed this image with the purpose to highlight the obsession of self-image on social media. I chose this because it ties in well with my group project on the contrivance of social media. We are first drawn towards the subject — the girl lying down on the bed, taking a selfie with her raised arms — because the red colour of her bed stands out from the rest. Her skimpy outfit would suggest that this is set in the modern age, as we hover our attention to her surroundings to find contemporary work pasted over her walls. The walls highlight the bulk of our individual ideals and profiling are subjugated and inspired social media influences. Some of which are posters of iconic faces, like Marilyn Monroe. The fact that the subject’s body language is laid back as she takes a selfie shows a standstill in time, that juxtaposes with the connotation of the walls; altogether conveying the message of the implication of time wasted on delivering the perfect self-image. Grac objectifies the subject as a mere representative the social media population: she is minuscule while the walls of external media influences enclosed her. This image prompts a question if the obsession of self-image is a direct effect of consistent influences of media.

This image titled “Nobody likes me” is a wall art that satires social media user’s constant need for virtual recognition. First we identify a weeping boy by his facial expression, together with a phone in his hand. Above him is a pop-up that is widely recognised for as an Instagram notification. The pop-up is symbolic to underline users’ ceaseless worshipping of social media and its benefits — the creation of selective self-profiling and manipulation in portrayal of oneself. The clever positioning of the notification above the boy’s does this: it denotes that users are subjugated to the mindless control of social media. Having the painting on the wall instead of a real boy photographed in front of the wall carries a subtle connotation of social media users being trapped being a wall — except that the wall symbolises the inevitability of a user being unable to break free. It is important as a street artist for Stanley Park to underscore this rising social phenomenon and publish it as a stencil drawing. He cohesively brings forth the issue on the pursuit of online self-promotion that my group also explores. This inspires us to also understand the consequential result of the incessant chase if it could serve as a vice to real life interactions.

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