“Profile Pictures” questions the meaning of “connection” within the era of social media. Just as we form, build, and brand our social media profiles, I carefully piece together and construct my abstract figures. In this way they are all the same, yet they exist apart in isolation. This is the experience of sitting behind a computer screen “connecting -- you interact with others by disconnecting from your physical environment and the people within it.
The figures of Profile Pictures are colorful, direct, and accessible – but exist apart, isolated. I question the meaning of presence: how much of our identity is grounded in physical vs. virtual space?
I evoke this state of connect vs. disconnect by using gestural, complementary colors that vibrate against one another, materializing the rift between the virtual and physical worlds. Both watercolors and oils allow me to illustrate this momentary and emotive in-between place. The translucency of watercolors illustrate transparent and transient facial expressions, while the thick texture of oils suggest the movement of a moment in passing – a place of unsettle.
Making visible these intangible and isolated moments of emotion, I ground our prefabricated personas of social media, humanizing them to be understood as a shared experience. I make accessible the non-space between the virtual and physical worlds, a place where, in our day-to-day lives, we seem to find ourselves caught now more often than not.