Plastic Smiles and Peaches (remix)

Plastic Smiles and Peaches (remix), October 2018, mixed media

Revisited this lady and gave her a makeover.

I placed her on a bunch of inky/pastel/lipstick stains that I had scanned in. They reminded me of paua shells which reminded me of eyes, seen on many Maori carvings. They also reminded me of black holes and phone screens, or mirrors.

Like the original, I surrounded her in plastic smiles cut from plastic shopping bags that had steadily accumulated in my house. And, of course, the peach emojis that bounce outta her multiple phones.

In the original image, however, there were wax drawings of typical patterns found in nature, all encrypted in paint and creeping in from behind a dark backdrop of Instagram squares. I made this one slightly less textural. Instead, she sits in front of a receipt where my self sells myselfmyselfmyselfmyselfmyself to my self all over the squares. I think this is a teeny bit more direct but it works aesthetically. Certainly, it caters to contemporary tastes much more.

Here is the initial poem, that I actually wrote long before the artwork itself was made.

Now that I’ve returned to social media, I can’t help but be fascinated by the world of bizarre internet behaviours and what people do for likes and follows.

It’s particularly noticeable in women. And being a woman, the infamous ‘Instagram Hoe’ is one of the various archetypal characters that interests me the most. I am also interested in her many forms/presentations/angles, in which we choose to obtain validation through our sexuality. What look has she dressed herself/undressed herself in this time?

I’ve had people tell me I should post more photos of myself and use what I have, essentially to gain more internet popularity. Apparently, I don’t sexualise myself as much as the people around me. That was a funny find. But I’ve seen many girls go about this, and rather than using Instagram as a tool to express themselves, they become a templated parody of who they are.

Other than this, there are a number of things that have bugged me about my addiction to Instagram. For one, the internal monologue of scrolling is startlingly apparent. What an anxious, monotonous voice that is. Also, my sense of concentration is immediately weakened. I can barely read anymore without getting distracted.

Even as I write this and consider what I’m doing, I can’t help but laugh.

I’m replacing an old artwork with a new one because the other one was not valued enough; because an Instagram poll showed me that this was a ‘better’ image…well, I was gonna upload this anyway but regardless, that’s ‘normal’ behaviour and I’ve done it before. I’m probably gonna wait to post this on Instagram so it’s perfect timing and everyone can see it.

What other weird internet behaviours, cyber archetypes and social media effects do you notice?

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