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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ASH NAJAGADA

TUMBLEWEED THROUGH A MAGNIFYING GLASS (JAN 25)

Ash Najagada

oil pastel, colored pencil, marker, and acrylic on newsprint, 24×36″
$2,000 
 

The Long Year is a show that takes place on Instagram. Over the course of January, I’ve made it my mission to produce one work of art for each day of the month. This stipulation necessitates that I focus on the details and events of each day that were important to me.

My mode of production and distribution of art yields a lot of interesting results. For one, making a drawing every day  leads to a more comprehensive picture of what a period of time looks and feels like. I am less focused on visual cohesiveness, and more so on the themes and motifs that I experience first hand. Over the course of a month, I revisit the themes and alter them, attempt to depict past events, and reflect on my relationships with other people. This practice reveals the ways in which my personality (and all personalities) proliferate and change. Over time, seemingly disparate ideas begin to meld together, and you start to get a better understanding of my experience and by extension, your own. Drawing attention to how we form and express our identities allows us to critically think about how we are presenting ourselves to the world, and how that matches up with our lived experiences.

This project is also a critique about the way we present ourselves on social media. The internet has a huge role in how we shape our social circles, and yet we are encouraged at every point to present ourselves in increasingly confined ways. The pressure to market yourself to other people leads to the consolidation of your whole personality into a few consumable ideas. I believe that Instagram is the closest app we have  that allows one to fully express their personhood, but still we are encouraged to water down our image to be consumed by others. My practice draws attention to these opposing facts and allows the viewer to make decisions about how they want to present themselves online.

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