There is no doubting the power social media has over our lives in contemporary society, its impact has been quite unnerving at times in recent years. Social media has become an integral part of our personal and work lives, shaping our visual culture and enabling the individual to shape and redefine how they present themselves to the outside world. Swiss artist Ata Bozaci, otherwise known as graffiti artist Toast, has been exploring the world of Facebook profiles for his latest project, Beautiful Facebook – Fifteen Seconds of Fame, which will be presented in a solo exhibition at SOON Gallery in Bern. Beautiful Facebook – Fifteen Seconds of Fame by Ata Bozaci will also serve as a book presentation, featuring a collection of digital portraits of the Facebook profiles of his friends. SOON Gallery, that has spaces in both Bern and Zurich, has presented in the past, exhibitions by Büro Destruct and Uldry (It’s A Dedication) and VinZ (Fish Tank).
The solo exhibition at SOON Gallery, Beautiful Facebook – Fifteen Seconds of Fame, finds Ata Bozaci working in the tradition of artists reflecting personal events and the latest developments in society. The title of the exhibition of course refers to the classic Andy Warhol statement, that everyone would get their fifteen minutes of fame. Even Warhol could have not predicted that in such a small span of time the effect the internet and social media would have on the notion of fame and exhibitionism. Such is the impact of social media and to some extent, TV also, that we now live in a fast paced world of micro-moments that have shortened the attention span, those fifteen minutes are more like fifteen seconds now. By using the Facebook profiles of his friends, Ata Bozaci has explored the world of self-representation as a basis for his digital portraits and quite literally assembled his own face book. You may find the articles on Digital Urban Art and Urban Art’s Virtual Reality interesting.
Both the book and solo exhibition of Ata Bozaci, Beautiful Facebook – Fifteen Seconds of Fame, are collections of digital portraits created by the artist, based on full frontal photos from Facebook profiles. The artworks blur the line between the physical and virtual world by removing the images from social media and placing them out of context, either as prints or in mural form as street art. The full frontal digitised artworks concentrate on the facial features of his social media friends, drawing attention to the iconic nature of the photos used on Facebook profiles, while also utilising the excellent illustration and design skills that Ata Bozaci possesses. The combination of graphic design along with his graffiti writing skills, has resulted in a collection of original works that are quite striking in Beautiful Facebook – Fifteen Seconds of Fame. You may also enjoy the work of Richard Prince in New Portraits and the Is Instagram a New Artistic Medium? article.
Swiss born artist Ata Bozaci, aka Toast, originally studied new media and graphic design while also experimenting with graffiti and spray cans in the early 1990’s. His works were largely inspired by classic graffiti writing and he has gone on to become a versatile artist, who explores across various mediums and techniques. His artworks encompass drawing, murals, canvas paintings, modular sculptures, graphic art and three-dimensional graffiti writing. The Beautiful Facebook – Fifteen Seconds of Fame book is his second monograph and follows Black Ink, published in 2007.
Beautiful Facebook – Fifteen Seconds of Fame by Ata Bozaci, aka Toast, opens at SOON Gallery, Bern, on 19th March, 2015 and runs through until 29th March, 2015.
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All images courtesy of SOON Gallery.