March 18, 2019

What is the link between art and social media?

Megan Archibald


In 2019, Instagram accounts have taken the place of portraits hung on walls. Yet, in Renaissance paintings, each object around the figure told a story, of wealth or loss or rank, and we still do the same with Instagram, choosing to show off material possessions to flaunt our social status. By posing models with a nod to Neo-Classical and Renaissance art, I’m asking – is our desire to portray ourselves idealistically really a modern phenomenon? And if not, does our entire approach to the problematic nature of social media need to change? Humans have always chosen to document the human form and objects suggesting status, yet female nudity is censored on social media channels and women often bare the brunt of sexist harassment and bullying online – but it’s acceptable and expected to see a female nude in the context of an art gallery. My entire photographic practice, and this image, questions this hypocrisy and the modern-day moral panic about the evils of how young people portray themselves, or what they see and take part in, online.

Why Do I Have To Choose To Be The Madonna Or The Whore? (I Wanted To Be Venus)
digital photograph