About Art and Social Media – Laurence de Valmy (USA)

My artwork revisits Art History through fictional anachronistic Instagram of the past based on the work and life of major artists. Each artwork combines an original painting and some imagined dialogues, historically accurate, between the artist and his connections. My goal is also to reflect on the place of social media today in our relationship with art, more often seen through a screen than in person.

Each artwork comes with its story that I share on my website here is for example the Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt.

Gustav and the Tree of Life, 2019Acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 40″ (152 x 102 cm) – Courtesy of Kahn Gallery

Story behind the art: The painting The Fulfillment also called Embrace or Lovers is a study for a series of three mosaics created by Klimt between 1905-1911. The mosaics form a part of a larger commission by Belgian patrons of the arts Adolphe and Suzanne Stoclet to decorate their mansion. The pair were avid art collectors and collected art from different cultures and times including Egyptian and Byzantine arts, source of inspiration for Klimt. The cartons were created in the summer 1908 during a summer stay at the Villa Oleander. One can assume that the lovers are Gustav Klimt and Emilie Flöge. Klimt wrote Flöge in 1914 after his first inspection of the finished mosaic in Brussels that he was “most intensely” reminded of the troubles, pleasures, and worries during the creation of the work drawings. Emilie Floge was a fashion designer who designed the costumes in Klimt’s paintings. She was Klimt’s lifetime companion (despite his many lovers) and his last words were “get Emilie”. She inherited half of his estate, never married and kept a room dedicated to him.

Lee’s sun woman, 2020Acrylic on canvas, 40″ x 30″ (102 x 76 cm)

This project is the most personal project I’ve ever worked on. It combines my interest in art history and painting. It’s also thanks to this series that I’ve been awarded an Artist Residency at the ESKFF in Mana Contemporary (USA) and that I’ve met the curators and galleries who now represent my work.

I am delighted to be part of SPAR and look forward to sharing with the artists of the residency!

Instagram @laurendevalmy Facebook @laurendevalmy

  1. Nazar Niazmetov

    Dear Laurence,
    Welcome to town! Thank you for your elegant post 🙂

    I think it’s a kind of concept that an artist is a mirror: “retranslation” of the things he/she has seen or what it is important at the moment for the society. Some fresh steps of talking on Instagram in our life you can see from the artist Misha Nikatin:

    Also, I suppose the canvas are not only about the social media – but about media at all: new, old, photo, narratives and ideas. Maybe even about money as instrument and mediator: who is winning by using Instagram?
    Art communities or institutions what got their personal voices by the network and hate the SMM usually?
    Oligarchs who are selling add and use our private data?
    Or just people who can see the world and can use the social elevator?

    The white flatness of Instagram’s infrastructure should be paid attention at least because it’s thrilling

    Looking forward to seeing your new “stories”!

    1. Avatar photo
      Laurence de Valmy

      Thanks Nazar for your welcoming words and thoughts!
      Great to discover the work of Misha Nikatin. very interesting.

      I love your point about the double side of social media. indeed on one hand it enables us to see the world and connect with other people and on the other hand, it fuels a business machine and the stock market…
      my work does not directly tackle these fascinating questions (not yet at least).

      My starting point was more about how we experience art online. We can have access to so much art, which is great for the democratisation of art but at the same time, most people feel like they know little about the subject.
      I guess that can be the subject of my next article 🙂

      thanks again!

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