Alex Sandvoss is a Canadian painter who has been inspired to amalgamate her painting skills with her connection to social issues.
Alex : "My 'Influencer' Series is a satirical look at the effects of vanity and consumerism on the planet with worsening issues like climate change. This Series is a social commentary on climate change, the fast-fashion industry, the role of social media influencers in the modern world, and the complicity of audiences and consumers – and how we could all do better.
Behold some in-action influencers (as seen on Youtube) anonymized with Barbie’s face. Our capitalistic heroine, Barbie, is also pictured recasting historical icons (for example the Madonna) as symbols of modern worship.
Millennials have birthed a new form of advertising by using two major online platforms: Youtube and Instagram. These individuals are called 'Influencers' because through their enormous followings and celebrity-like adoration on social media, they are able to influence their audience into purchasing items ranging from clothing to cosmetics to electronics to cars and more.
Their virtual content (pictures, videos, blogs, etc.) are lavishly monetized by companies to promote their products or services. The disturbing problem in this now-ubiquitous trend to influence through online content, is that this type of consumption is completely unsustainable for the planet and for the human psyche.
Many of these online pictures and videos show young men and women unpacking and showing off enormous purchases of clothing - up to tens of thousands of dollars worth. Encouraging others to consume in these proportions is toxic.
The damaging environmental impacts and human rights violations the clothing industry creates is staggering, yet we are rarely exposed to the ugly underbelly of this industry : The apparel and footwear industries together account for more than 8 percent of global climate impact, which is more than all international airline flights and marine shipping trips combined.
By encouraging these levels of consumption, we are making problems like climate change much worse.
I have taken off Youtube some 'screenshots' of real Influencers, and anonymized these individuals by overlaying our Capitalistic heroine, Barbie. Through this parodical series, I am intending to frame these venerated pawns of the advertising industry in a much more pertinent light.
I also used iconography, in this case the Madonna, to create a reflection for what this time of worship of one's image and consumption represents."