Selected for the Vigilance Art Exhibition on Surveillance in modern society.
The idea for this piece came from a thought I had one day. "Why is it that we can have seemingly everything we want or need, yet we're still dissatisfied and ungrateful?" It's a question that people ignore, because most of the time we're busy complaining about things that are in reality very trivial.
I wanted to convey this through a setting that is both familiar and serene. The beach immediately came to mind as a place where we, in theory, should be distraction free. Sadly it still isn't the case. The beach is a destination where we get away from it all, yet technology still looms large at every turn. I'm guilty of it, so I'm speaking to myself here too. When is the last time you just turned everything off and lived? Growing up in the 1990's, we didn't have any of what we have now. Kids were outside playing, and our relationships were stronger because there wasn't a need to check your phone every 2 minutes.
Aside from all that, I wanted the painting to take on a more universal theme. In part, we've been conditioned at a young age to not only never be satisfied with what we have, but to also find pleasure in things that are fleeting. Television represents this to a degree, because it temporarily numbs our minds into an almost false sense of security. I chose the color bars because they represent the mindless nonsense that most people watch on a day to day basis. If you've ever been up during the wee hours of the morning watching T.V., you'll recall that every block of programming is what they call "Paid Programming" which are basically infomercials that last up to 10x as long as your average regular commercial! Stop the madness!
In a broader sense, television to me represents programming in it's most unabashed, unapologetic form. Are you watching it, or is it watching you? You're basically paying someone to exploit and distract you from real issues (subliminal messaging comes to mind), which is ironic considering the television should be our gateway into what is actually going on in the world! Sadly it isn't, and the drone represents just that: An actual reality as opposed to a fabricated and perceived one (The TV).
One of the biggest reasons this painting works so well is because you can infer a lot from it, and it doesn't really reference anything or anyone in particular. You may look at it and perceive it in a completely different way, which is awesome!
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