From readily accessible digital media and online social networks, a new fashion of (desperate) narcissism and pornography has risen to serve as the modern day booty call.
Bevies of individuals now seek to reconceive their identities in a virtual world. Although some people will use their real names, most who use the Internet for the purpose of reinvention prefer the use of pseudonyms, which often reveal subtle or metaphorical hints of personal information. As users interact with an established online identity a reputation builds which enables others to decide whether the identity is worthy of trust.
The concept of the personal self, and how emerging technology influences it is currently studied in the fields of psychology and sociology. Research suggests that unwise and uninhibited behavior on the Internet rises as a result of the relationship between anonymity and (immediate) audience gratification creating a loosening or even complete abandonment of social restrictions and reticence that would otherwise be present in traditional face-to-face interactions.
The notion of “You don’t know me” equates to simple anonymity. Anonymity affords a sense of protection, and feeling protected provides an individual with a virtual playground allowing for a meaningful release. The release may be as simple as making a comment that would otherwise be embarrassing in a conventional interaction, or as complex as an outlet for sexual fantasies. Certain release-seekers photograph themselves in the mirror or with their own extended arm striking seductive poses in scant clothing.
These studies in particular are the focus of my Zepeda paintings.
The women depicted show a complexity of character in an easily dismissed, attention deficit fed forum. The need for the subject to photograph herself, rather than trusting another individual to assist her may suggest the woman’s distrust of a flesh and blood world, finding the virtual world more accepting and forgiving. Contrarily it may point to an isolation that previously existed, and a need for attention that has not been gratified with real human contact. The isolation apparent in each of these photographs is compounded by inattention for the setting or quality of the photograph. Neglected environments made of dirty laundry, unmade beds, empty food containers and flashes from the camera share the scene in a large collection of these on-line photos. The disheveled environment casts a light on the women’s detachment from the material world, and lack of interest in her daily drudgeries. The anticipated adoration waiting online preempts in importance the need to care for home. ...