Heidi Peelen #victimofmygeneration
Heidi Peelen | #victimofmygeneration
MFA Digital Arts Thesis Exhibition
Opening: Monday, February 24th from 5-8pm
On view: February 25th-28th
Artist Bio: Peelen comes from Portsmouth, Virginia. Her work has a strong traditional media foundation but upon entering Pratt Institute’s Digital Imaging program in pursuit of an MFA, she’s aimed to combine both traditional and digital media illustrative collage.
My generation, more commonly recognized as Generation Y, is infatuated with precisely how we define ourselves while constantly seeking out ways to express our desired societal labels. We are passionately engaged in social media: text messaging, Facebook, online blogging, and picture posting, all to simulate this authenticity of who we are to our friends and followers. We are reliant on our online persona (our profile picture, our latest status update, our likes and interests listed in the column Facebook provides) to successfully articulate how we want to be perceived. However, our onlookers view us via these forms of social networking with their own filter and label us according to their own perception.
I wanted to focus on the contemporary stereotypes that have been agreeably and arguably born as a consequence of what we’re incessantly over-revealing about ourselves to the online masses in a fatal attempt to gain even one person’s recognition or approval.
Through traditional portraiture (scanned graphite figure renderings) combined with web-based imagery collage, I sought to identify my generation’s subcultures in social media.
These five characters illustrate potential situations I personally can relate to, as white, middle class women with a suburban upbringing. Each is a direct reference from women that I know personally or strictly virtually, representing the duality of their virtual persona versus their perceived reality in the physical world. At approximately 34” x 50” in size, these prints were adhered to various public walls (primarily in Williamsburg) using a temporary adhesion: wheat-paste.
The intent of public posting was to question control over individual intention and resulting interpretation by a somewhat invisible audience of social media participants.
The day after as well as a week or so past their mounting I returned to photograph the deterioration of these portraits over time. In many cases, images were removed in two weeks time, some even the next morning.