It’s now a given that we present our best selves on social media – the pictures we chose show us in the best light, having the most fun, and let’s admit it, with our best looking friends – it’s a highlight reel.
And once a particular style of curating that highlight reel is introduced, everyone jumps on board – whether it’s the selfie or the candid pose. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Illustrator Valeria Crociata and photographer Giacomo Favilla have teamed up to explore the notion of faux-personalities and the loss of authenticity created by social media “copycat culture” with these weird and wonderful images. The Milan-based duo have created a series of prints and an animation inspired by the desire to transform into something you’re not.
Valeria’s colourful geometric shapes have been added to Giacomo's series of photographs of different personalities – creating a double meaning. Each subject represents a certain type of action, with Giacomo and Valeria aiming to interpret parts of humanity which are often concealed to the outside world, and bring them to the forefront.
The shots were captured with a strong burst of air that opened and deformed the mouth of the subjects.
In a world where we can follow the deeply curated Instagram account of our favourite celebrity in a bid to get insight into their world, the search for meaning in our individual lives can be superseded by the aspiration of the spectacular.
This exhibition realises a fundamental yearning of today’s society – to be recognised as individuals – which often ironically leads to the loss of authenticity and individuality.
Valeria and Giacomo chose to modify the face of these subjects because it's the part of our body which most demonstrates our individuality.
The transformation of the face beyond recognition seen here explores the transformation people undergo to be famous. However, rather than fame, the final result is a unrecognisable and humorous mask.
Valerie Crociata is a multi-disciplinary designer and art director based in Milan. She also dabbles in digital and web design, and editorial design. Clients include Adidas, National Geographic and Moleskin.
Giacomo Favilla started out as a photographer for an advertising studio in Italy before moving to London where he went on to produce music videos as well as photography. Most of his projects have been personal exhibitions and selected for publications such as The Verge, Rolling Stone and Design Week. His clients include Google and Heineken.