”thanks for following” is inspired by the history of the self-portrait and the absurdity of today’s “selfie” culture. “Making a self-portrait suggests that you are already famous, even if you’re not.” Says art historian James Hall. It worked for Rembrandt then and it works for many social media stars now.
For David Leitner it was a self-examination, which in turn boosted his self-confidence. In looking at why we are so obsessed with “selfies”, and constantly trying to find that perfect angle, and hoping to feel a bit better about ourselves.
By taking selfies and using 3D scans, the artist was able to examine the main object - himself - from all angles. Then, combined with a digital aesthetic, he transformed himself into the painting, drawing, and sculpture.
If we agree with Alastair Sooke’s prediction, the turn of 21st Century will come to be known as the ‘Age of Narcissism’. In that case, “thanks for following” is a picture of our era and a perpetuation of the selfie culture, all the while retaining the power of art.