Validation From The Like Button

Validation From The Like Button,Facebook,Facebook art,intimacy issues,social media issues,The McLoughlin Art Gallery,Bryan Boutwell

Title: Validation From The Like Button

8FT x 4FT- 4 Panels- oil and acrylic on canvas

Currently Available For Purchase

Description-'Validation From The Like Button' is an abstract modern contemporary painting about social media and the effects that it can have on authentic intimacy. We now have one main option when trying to communicate online while in the public eye, and it is...the Like Button. I believe the way in which we represent ourselves online is warped because of this. Authentic intimacy requires a balance of sharing both our grief as well as our successes, and its being pawned off for the # of Likes next to a thumbs up icon. The Like Button motivates us too share only what we believe others will ultimately Like, and this is where I believe the unbalanced representation of our lives begins. Who's not going to Like a pic of our kids at the beach? Who's not going to Like the post about our mention of a job promotion? Although I love these posts and smile when I see pics of happy looking kids, I also know that this is just one angle of someone's life. When we only promote the successes and leave out any of the confusion, doubt, conflict or struggle, we set ourselves up for interactions that mainly take place on the surface. The authentic intimacy that truly binds us is not found in our successes, but rather while dealing with life in our moments of conflict. We can only recognize character or lack of when witnessing others deal with conflict, not when we are celebrating success. If we only post about our joy, success, or our hightened sense of clarity every day, month after month, year after year, never revealing any challenge that life's handed us, any sadness thats overwhelmed us, or any grief that we haven't quite yet wrapped our heads around, I know we're not experiencing the beautiful spectrum that makes up who we really are. Sharing our vulnerabilities is how we create the strongest and most honest connections between one another. Our fears and flaws are beautiful when shared because they become the tangible landmarks that allow us the opportunity to recognize change and growth once overcome. Basically, I recognize the need for a more balanced approach when it comes to sharing on social networking sites. Without this change, or shift back towards the center, I believe we will ironically feel more separated than connected over time. I created this painting to show the desire of breaking the chains that keep us attached to the surface in regards to these social networking sites, in particular (Facebook). I changed the Facebook logo to FaceValue in this painting. The Like Button or thumbs up image has red lines coming from it representing the ache we may feel when desiring to post more intimate thoughts and feelings, compared to our 100th selfie of the week. The ducks with the pad locks represent being locked to the surface. The abstract circles in the background are actually what is beneath our surfaces; the colors and designs that flow through us, and yet the ones beneath the surface that are not being shared often enough out of the fear of not receiving a Like in response. In the top right corner of the painting you see a silhouette of a person leaning into his hands in disappointment while at their computer because of this. I wanted to create the scene of someone wanting to actually post something vulnerable about themselves but yet too apprehensive to do so. The Like Button holds us back from a more authentic connection, and in my opinion can tarnish the importance of nostalgia.