Many long nights and early mornings spent in front of the glow of a computer screen spawned the creation of these images. They issued forth from extensive reflection upon ideas and images that saturate our culture – specifically, consumerism as fetish, the objectification of the individual, and the de-personalization of intimacy.
These figures are surreal hybrids of real humanity and manufactured uniformity. They are creepy. They are disturbing in their beauty and unsettling in their sexuality, and they are meant to be.
These disconcerting images criticize the positioning of humans as products. They encapsulate the idea that we seem unable to function without our modern world of convenience and commercialism. A world that often poisons the very things that make us human.
Much as these likenesses criticize our society’s mass production mentality, we cannot ignore that they are products themselves. They are the products of an artist who is both fascinated and repelled by how insistent our consumer culture is upon upholding the fantasy of the “perfect life,” of the “perfect man” and of the “perfect woman.” As rates of depression in our culture rise, we are taught to embrace the power of the individual and to shun community, to maintain a stiff upper lip despite the potential for healing connection all around us. How does this affect the relationships we have with others?
Through the mechanization of society and fixation on our bodies, individuals become more machine-like and we put aside our social, cooperative cores. These products synthesize a fascination with art as propaganda machine, social engine, and forum for cultural ideals.
*DI-7: Original photograph by Steve Richard. Used with Permission.