A new painting exhibition in Christchurch explores how social media has affected our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Artist Chimp, also known as Ash Sisson, presents an exhibition of paintings at the Fiksate Gallery in Christchurch titled Social Woes.
The paintings feature images of fractured and distorted faces and birds with vibrant blocks of color.
Sisson said the paintings look at how social media has changed during the global pandemic.
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âI think there has been a shift in a lot of the ways the world works and how we interact as people,â he said.
âPeople had more time to spend online and that led to this intense level of us versus them, and it’s really easy to do when you’re not sitting in front of someone making eye contact and reading. his body language and sympathizes with him as another human being. “
He said social media is an alienating force for many people.
âThere is just a massive disconnect.
âAlthough there is more connection, we are more disconnected than ever in terms of social contact.
âI think it has become a damaging thing to the mental health of the majority of people. I think it has become a burden and an anxiety for the well-being of most people.
Fiksate gallery owner and director Jenna Ingram said the distortion of images of native people and birds is a testament to the unsettling aspects of social media.
âThe images are fragmented and some of them are just feathers rather than the whole bird. The decomposition of the image looks completely digital.
She said Sisson is well known in New Zealand for his large-scale murals which often feature New Zealand flora and fauna.
In Christchurch, he created the large mural of native birds and flowers on the Justice and Emergency Building on Lichfield St.
Ingram founded the Fiksate Gallery five years ago in New Brighton, and it has grown organically since.
The gallery, which is now based in Sydenham, showcases and supports urban artists.
âThese are artists who were, or still are, active in the urban environment with murals or graffiti,â Ingram said.