I’ve written before about the impervious nature of technology in our lives. You’re probably tired of reading about it, especially as I’m contributing to it by writing a blog.. umm.. dang. But it’s such an intriguing subject to me and such a careful balancing act we play with it, that I can’t help but see the references in artists’ work from time to time. In these paintings by Portland, Maine artist Meghan Howland, I see the artist conveying many of the conflicting emotions we encounter in this technology we interact with daily.
Pale figures, starkly lit glow eerily as they are surrounded by beauty– birds, flowers– some soft, some seeming savage. Do you see the connection? Maybe I’m reaching. What springs to mind for me is the way we use social media to show the best of ourselves, to unintentionally inspire envy in others when all we show is the most fabulous version of our lives. When we don’t mention our struggles, the piles of laundry, the failures, alongside the beautiful moments, we create an unreal, imaginary life. We gain followers who voyeuristically join our journey, yet heap praise on what isn’t our real selves, but a persona of our own making.
I admit, I find myself censoring and editing what I share. Mainly because, at my core, I’m a deeply private person, a bit uncomfortable with so much sharing. But also because so much of the time, life is just what it is. Day by day, it is beautiful in and of itself, but not necessarily Instagram photo worthy. But why not? Are we so scared of tarnishing our “brand” that we don’t allow ourselves to be authentic anymore? I hope not. What do you think, Artsies? Do you censor what you put out there for the world to see? Or are you all in, dirty dishes and all?
All images are via the artist’s website.