Recently I came across a Newsweek magazine with the front page article titled: “iCrazy: Is the web driving us mad?” The article (which you can read here) goes on to tell of frightening statistics on how the internet is eating away on our consciousness and rapidly turning us into self-involved, manic depressive creatures glued to a myriad of screens of various shapes and sizes. Using the nervous breakdown of the Kony 2012 campaign creator, Jason Russell, as an example of the how intrusive the internet can be, the article has managed to turn me off the idea of being glued to a screen almost entirely.
The irony that you’re reading this on a screen of sorts after I have written it using a screen of sorts is not lost on me, thank you.
Which brings me to an artist who draws attention to our growing addiction to the internet through the classic art of portraiture. Dan witz‘s oil paintings (& mixed media on canvas) present single figures looking down into their phone screens. The eerie glow from the phones create a hollow, lonely and somewhat depressing feel to the faces, who otherwise (should) appear young and lively. The paintings bring sharply to our attention the secluded way in which we gain a sense of importance, inclusion and feel loved these days: Our phones.