Beauty

Date: 2017 - In progress
Medium: Inkjet prints
Dimensions: 22.5 x 30 inches (each)

The popularity of mobile apps that alter identity through the virtual transformation of age, ethnicity, gender, and even species, has given rise to the use of tangible disguise in selfies, with the face mask being most prominent. The face mask phenomenon has led to the creation and use of masks designed to resemble kabuki makeup, animals, animated characters, and other recognizable historic and cultural designs. The casual and carefree nature of the selfie compels me to consider both the instability of identity and the implications of appropriating other identities in order to amuse friends on social media. In Beauty, I took portraits of friends wearing ready-made face masks to explore what transpires when selfies are displayed in a formal context. By using the visual language of Baroque portraiture, Beauty elevates and prolongs the ephemerality of the selfie to question the ease of borrowing, concealing, and performing identity in a social media obsessed culture.