The Rutgers Camden Digital Studies Center
Facebook, November 16 - 21, 2016
M att Held is a visual artist, whose work, among many other projects, includes Facebook portraits and the curated exhibition "Where's My Jetpack?" -- inspired by the mythology of the Jetpack.
He is recipient of the Brooklyn Arts Council/ New York City Department of Cultural Affairs grant, and his "I'll have my Facebook portrait painted by Matt Held" project has been featured on Art Fag City, Modern Art Notes, Two Coats of Paint, Juxtapoz online, ArtNews, WIRED, New York Magazine, The New York Observer, The Daily News, NY1, as well as on European publications including Spreeblick, Focus Online, Jetze, Myself, Sleek Mag, derStandard, ZeitZuender and Italian culture blog, Polkadot.
The image is Matt Held's portrait of artist and Internet activist/innovator, An Xiao Mina.
"I'll have my Facebook portrait painted by Matt Held"
I am an artist primarily based out of NYC (though temporarily in Seattle at the moment). In 2009, I began a near two year long project painting Facebook portraits
With the development of social networking sites, I've developed an interest in how people take simple or complex snapshots of themselves, post them to their page as a representation of who they are and what they want people to see. It is an interesting form of control and, in a way, self-preservation.
At the time, Facebook was fairly new to the general public as it had previously been limited to universities. I was fascinated with this concept of individualism through digital representation and the spread of democratization aided by social networking and began painting portraits as a means to exam that. My original goal was to paint 200 portraits (I made it to 75) and formed a group that connected me to individuals around the globe.
Transcript of the "I'll have my Facebook portrait painted by Matt Held" conversation