I N T H E GA L L E RY
HAMI SH BLAKELY
With the arrival of smartphones, a need to be adored by anybody and everybody has materialised; shaping the self-regard of our younger generation. Hamish questions whether such affirmation-seeking behaviour encourages superficiality and the demise of meaningful communication, albeit in his usual humorous way. This piece explores the theme of social media narcissism, exemplified by the ‘selfie’ – which Hamish argues could be seen as ‘a modern expression of a modern age’. Do platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram encourage a self-promotion addiction? Is it a harmless self-indulgence, or an all- consuming dependence on the approval of strangers? Hamish’s depiction of Marilyn Monroe symbolises an underlying commentary on the overuse of her iconic image, and his take on ‘smartphone mania’. Her tragic story – marred by a history of exploitation and the relentless grind of the ‘Hollywood machine’ – is made all the more heartrending by her timeless beauty. By taking a reference image and transposing it, Hamish has captured Marilyn in an intrinsically personal way.
“I have taken a wry look to create images that are both provocative and light-hearted. I want the viewer to enjoy the paintings first, and be confronted with more searching questions after.”
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FINE ART COLLECTOR SPRING 2018 11
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