Selfies from Alternate Universes
”All of these digital paintings are based on my humble visage” says Eric Wayne. I been keeping an eye on him and when I saw the first samples of the ”Selfish-Selfies” as he had already called them, I knew he was onto something. Finally someone had found a way to make something interesting out of those selfies. After feeding it through the ever popular neural network that is Faceapp, Eric uses his own face and his own skill to really give the pics an extra edge. ”I heard about a phone app that could change your age and gender, and I couldn’t resist trying it. It usually creates abominations, but sometimes it creates a persuasive new person, with an uncanny resemblance, and I found myself liking these new identities. It was a little disappointing that they didn’t actually exist, but could have. I decided to commemorate the people by fixing them up and recreating them as large-scale digital paintings. I also thought if nobody had done this, let me snap it up. It’s weird to me that other artists haven’t explore this with fascination. One of the reasons I started the series was it was just an enormous, rip fruit waiting to be picked. Hmmmm. Maybe I should do some more of them soonish. Your post about my work will help solidify me as the artist who first explored this in some depth and with some skill. I may get some recognition for that somewhere down the line.”
Tobe Damit: You did at least one selfie very implicitly evoquing the movie ”Network”. is there a special reason for you to use that movie? Are you mad as Hell?
Eric Wayne: It’s in my top 10 all-time favorite movies, and one never can forget Howard Beal imploring his TV audience to open their windows and shout, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore”. It’s a rather timeless anthem. Really, I just made some exaggerated old versions of myself, and this one reminded me of Howard Beal, so I decided to put myself into the movie.
Normally I wouldn’t say I’m mad, but I’ve certainly written a lot of rants on my blog, and have gotten quite emphatic and pissed off recently. I do think a lot of things are criminally stupid, and with dire consequences. Mostly I’m a mild, well-mannered sort, but I can definitely see going Howard Beal under extenuating circumstances.
It’s quite bizarre that nowadays it seems that I always draw to reflect on duplicity, doubles and doppelgangers. Are the selfies a new way to reproduce ourselves???? I know that’s a bit outlandish but there sure is something with those selfies being constantly spread around the web and I’m just wondering what’s hidden under that need to proliferate with selfies. Now there’s an artist that is seemingly playing with genetics when he’s only dealing with digital manipulations and a little bit of paint! What is also interesting is that Eric Wayne also makes us reflect on what we could be looking like in a different universe, maybe parallel to this one in which we are a young beautiful girl, an old man or a serial killer. It must be empowering to feel we have a certain power over space and time… When you’re doing art and it’s suddenly referring to multiverses, quantum physics and genetic manipulations, it may seem innocent but there sure is something deeper and that is precielsy what I like about those selfies versus the normal selfies…
©ALL IMAGES BY ERIC WAYNE!