We spend most of our time online, connected by sophisticated gadgets to our social media group of (so-called) friends, enchanted by the fast flow of information and to our own virtual image projections in the Network.
There seems to be a common sense debate between the ‘right’ use of technology, as people recently realized not only the benefits of being technologized, but also the side effects that come out of it: isolation, loneliness, superficiality, fear of surveillance, lack of fun or narcissism.
One of the best mediums to catch the struggle of modern man versus technology is illustration. Illustrators have the advantage of expressing so many deep emotions and thoughts through a single image, that can make us reflect much more about our way of existence in comparison to our daily Facebook feed.
Here’s the top 5 illustrators that I chose for you as a small reminder to disconnect for a while and reflect on our own actions and society’s behavior towards social media:
Thanks to the Internet, Joan is famous for his absurd illustrations about people acting stereotypically and sometimes, out of the blue, really cruel. His style is related to comic books and surprises the human nature as we’d like not to think about: with no ethics, very instinctual and acting foolish, due to the random circumstances. In the works selected above, the artist is focusing on the futility of selfies.
If you’ve never heard of DADARA, a prolific dutch artist whose work criticizes how people use and rapport themselves to Facebook, just check out Dadaratopia, his lovely Facebook page!
DADARA had a great impact last year at Burning Man Festival, where he exposed a huge installation that represented a temple dedicated to the ‘God of Like’.
Since 2004, Pawel deals with satirical illustration and he does a very good job. He is from Poland and received “Eryk” prize from Association of Polish Cartoonists, for the newly discovered cartoonist in 2005. The illustrations above treat themes related to the fear that Facebook is a tool for the governments to spy on their citizens.
Coming from Azerbaijan, Gunduz takes his inspiration out of social inequity or abuse of the powerful. He is best known for the ‘Holy Selfie‘ series, where he combines religious fanaticism with the power of the western social media.
5. Jean Julien
Jean Jullien is a French graphic designer currently living in London. His practice ranges from Illustration to photography, video, costumes, installations, books, posters and clothing to create a coherent yet eclectic body of work.
Jean criticized society’s behavior when overusing social media in the ‘Allo?‘ series for his first solo exhibition at Kemistry gallery in London. The series explores our social and asocial behaviors, the relationship between people and how we communicate with one another. Looking at day to day life, smart phones, social behavior and funny incidents, ‘Allo?’ shows some everyday observations that we can relate to and laugh at, as well as some sad but true stories that we all witness everyday.
Know illustrator artists that deal with this subject or are you an illustrator depicting social media impact in our daily lives? Share this article to inspire others. Thank you and till next time, keep it real!
Photo credits: courtesy of the artist’s websites and the Burning Man Festival photo gallery