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Why are Celebrity Culture and the Aesthetics of the Body so Important in the Art World in 2022?

Because people are feeling a big need to reconnect to other people and to explore new connections with other human beings given that social distancing is over...


The aesthetics of the body and celebrity culture are themes that are still dominant in 2022! We say ‘still’ because these trends were massive already in 2017-18 and have experienced a renaissance after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic…this given that people are feeling a big need to reconnect to other people and to explore new connections with other human beings given that social distancing is over.

Many contemporary artists are exploring the production of mass culture icons and the expression of the human body to pinpoint the ways in which our lived experiences are mediated through tools of representation. And sometimes it is hard to draw a line between these two trends, as they often come entwined in a single artwork.


For instance, our artist RICARDO COELHO believes that the aesthetics of the body occupies a predominant place in today’s world, and indeed, today’s celebrity culture, from tabloids to social media and the arts, is deeply entrenched in the aesthetics of the body.


COELHO makes striking portraits of art world celebrities such as Marina Abramovich and Andy Warhol, and, by doing so, he unveils the processes through which these universal symbols of the glory and success they convey for being artists present in books, catalogues, and tabloids both shape and embody ideas on personal identity and individual subjectivity.

Celebrity culture is so widespread and is so familiar to all of us because we tend to project and introjects who we would like to be into the bodies, lifestyles, and inspirational values that celebrities stand for.


 

A new session in the series of interviews in which art historian and critic Kalinca Costa Söderlund , THE FOUNDER OF ARRIERE-GARDE, delves into contemporary Brazilian research and artistic production with artist Juliana Freire, with the aim of demonstrating how art reflects and explores the most urgent issues of a country facing major challenges.


 

Other artists, like our LEENA MERTANEN, are responding to the landscape of mass media culture in the era of digital revolution with humour and criticism, appropriating images or referencing the imagery of advertising, film, television, magazines, social media and beyond.




MERTANEN experiments with the proliferation of new different identities that the era of WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok are generating as if the notion of the ‘self’ ad the ‘meme’ could be either interchangeable or corresponding.


When identity is at the very core of artistic production, artists like MERTANEN combine photography with the adoption of their own body as a subject to add uniqueness to the creation of multiple personas with which we can all identify and engage with.



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