Portrait of the Artist

Jillian Mayer

Museum Selfies

By Noelani Kirschner | February 3, 2020
<em>Slumpie 7 - Arm Hole</em>, 75
Slumpie 7 - Arm Hole, 75" x 46" x 38"

In her sculpture series Slumpies, multimedia artist Jillian Mayer captures—and capitalizes on—our obsession with taking selfies. “I thought about what it meant to pose with something and add it to your online presence—this illusion that your physical self is just a content generator for your online self,” she says. Mayer’s sculptures are molded to encourage people to recline or lounge on them, angled is such a way as to encourage selfies with the art in the galleries. Mayer believes that after the Instagram selfie becomes obsolete — to be replaced by the next online trend — her sculptures will be a permanent record of our current digital age.



Mayer also describes her work as inherently optimistic, her designs conveying a healthy sense of the ridiculous. The color palette and the rough edges of the works are meant to emulate something from the Flintstones, she says. That way, the works appear approachable to visitors. She says that children have the least inhibitions about running up to and engaging with the pieces. Those who cultivate an “artsy” persona online seem just as eager. “I do have people send me photos of other people that they come across on dating apps in front of the Slumpies,” she says. “Which is funny because that was the inspiration.”

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