Artist Statement for "Let's Facebook It"

My current practice focuses on portraiture and figurative oil painting. Purposefully I find myself questioning “What Lies Beneath?” My lines of investigation are currently researching social class issues but more specifically social groups and integration.

My current line of enquiry muses over social media, in particular the Facebook community. I am persistently attempting to dissect what Facebook is all about whilst also trying to comment on the mass of imagery that we are constantly subjected to.

As an artist I am looking and commenting on how people on Facebook choose to represent themselves to the world. This appears to manifest in areas such as vanity and façade. It emerges that people often open themselves up and in some ways close themselves down at the same time. This perspective can come across as very warped. For some it looks as if it is about “I’m having so much fun, my life is amazing, ” yet for me, as an artist it feels quite voyeuristic. Many choose to remain anonymous in a variety of avatars, whilst some choose to change their profile imagery as often as their socks. I am studying the psychology and observing at the same time as looking at each image on it’s own merit and responding. I paint what I see as honestly as I can.

My work reflects an eclectic mix of imagery using oil painting interpretations, experimenting with the merits of each image. I have been selective with my choice of imagery, picking from the expected, to the unexpected, the creative and the mundane. I am critiquing an international virtual social group encouraging the viewer to ask who? what? and why?

I have an interactive Facebook page where viewers can connect with the work, comment, and upload more profiles for me to paint, therefore creating a social group within a social group ( Additionally I have set up a twitter account to promote this arts project further, (@LetsFaceBkIt). This has enabled me to communicate globally so affording me opportunities to interact with people that, in reality, I would have never had a chance to meet.

This is an interactive arts project where I, the artist, am responding to other people’s self-portrait, elevating their digital portrait to a painted work of art. There is almost a futility behind this, however it allows me, as an artist, to comment on social media through portrait and figurative painting.