Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Todd McDonald, Committee Chair
My work references images from social media to construct a world that exists somewhere between our physical world and the digital. I do this to help me understand how our reliance on technology, and our use of social media affects how we process information. I examine the cultural implications this media saturation has had, or will have on our society. Specifically, I am looking at the “digital divide.” My work explores the divide between the way we often think and behave online, and how it differs from our offline self. This is accomplished by elevating the value of the original image through paint. Using a high key palette, I construct an image that is more synthetic than the original to emphasize the absurd nature of the original image. The synthetic image I create is done to make my world more interesting than our actual world. However, the world I am creating is also ambiguous and confusing. My paintings depict spaces that suggest an exaggerated version of reality. I use images that are heavily constructed. I then distort the image to emphasize the constructed qualities of our image world. This is done to provoke the viewer’s imagination and have them evaluate the image differently than they typically would. I am inviting them to contemplate the absurd nature of our world, and contemplate how they contribute to it’s creation.
Massey, Dustin Lee, "The Realm of Appearances" (2018). All Theses. 2996.