Life Begins at the End of a Selfie Stick - 11x14" Mixed Media on Panel
In 2014, I took a trip with my family to Europe. We visited Paris, and as most tourists are prone to do, we visited the Louvre Museum. It's an incredibly massive building, filled with tens of thousands of people at any given time, and the scene is borderline chaos when you first enter the structure.
That chaos diminishes when you visit some of the less popular exhibits, like the Flanders and Flemish wing (think Rembrandt). As you work you way through to the more popular wings, especially the Italian exhibit, things get a little more insane.
This is where the Mona Lisa is housed, and if you've never seen it, the painting is a quite a bit smaller than you probably imagined. It sits on a separated wall, blocked by glass, and velvet ropes. The tourists crowd around, sandwiching each other closer and closer, just waiting to catch a glimpse of this masterful work, but they aren't really there to see it, Rather, they are there to be seen with it.
People nudged each other, this way and that, in order to get the best angle for taking a photo of themselves near the painting. While I stood there, holding onto a 35-lb, sleeping child, I noticed not a single person taking the time to truly appreciate the work of art.
Further down the hall was a corridor that housed two statues. One was Aphrodite, and the other, Venus de Milo. Again, there were throngs of people taking pictures of themselves next to the Venus, and virtually nobody looking at the Aphrodite. Both sculptures are equal in appearance, and craftsmanship, but because Venus is missing arms, THAT is the one people need to get a picture with, for their Facebook pages.
In that moment, I wanted to be anywhere else but in that museum. People walked the halls of the museum oblivious to the art and history that surrounded them. It was as if people were there strictly to check off certain boxes on their tour book, like a Parisian scavenger hunt—first one back to the hotel with a Mona Lisa, Venus, and Winged Victory wins!
Self-indulgence is a human trait. We spend more time preening ourselves than any other species on the planet. We compliment each other on how handsome or beautiful we are, and we love to share that beauty with the world.
Since the advent of the camera phone, our human race has spent more time taking picture of themselves in bathroom mirrors than they have taking a look at the beauty outside. We make devices, and accessories to those devices, for the sole purpose of sharing our tiny, self-congratulatory worlds.
In a ten thousand years, when the human species has killed itself off in armageddon, and the aliens come to dig up our remains, what will they think about us as a creed when they find our skeletons firmly clutching a selfie stick, as if our lives depended on it?
- Acrylic and mixed media
- 11x14" Wood Panel
- 1-1/2" profile (side)
- No frame included
- Can be hung as is