The Art of Social Media

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You never know where your Chatroulette shots or Facebook portraits will turn up. For some lucky few, they will be on display tonight at the Art Directors Club, where artists Justin Gignac and Matt Held will exhibit their art pieces inspired by social media mugshots. The Art of Social Media will be presented tonight from 7-10 pm, co-hosted by the ADC and The Social Media Society.

Gignac, also known for making art out of NYC garbage, and putting his Wants for Sale (with wife/partner Christine), will present his 2010 series of 12" x 16" charcoal on paper drawings, Nudes of Chatroulette. According to Gignac's artist statement, "His modern take on traditional figure drawing brings a bit of humor and sophistication to the act of Wiener Hunting."

Fellow exhibitor Matt Held creates "24x30" oils on canvas of peoples' Facebook portraits. "With the development of social networking sites, I've developed an interest in how people take simple or complex snapshots of themselves, post them to their page as a representation of who they are and what they want people to see," he explains on his site. "It is an interesting form of control and, in a way, self-preservation. However, there is a strong likelihood that many people who don't know you will see this photo representation and make passing judgments as to who you may or may not be, much in the same way we make passing judgments on people we see in our neighborhoods every day."

Putting such portraits in the context of a gallery space, "you see a community of individuals—their likeness elevated and memorialized like the original commissioners of portrait painting; the rich and powerful—displayed as a portrait's original intent: expression of an individual's character and moral quality." As part of an exhibition, "the collection is as much about the individual as it is about the community it represents."

Check out The Art of Social Media event details here and see a selection of work from the show below:

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