Written by Malak Nour
Hello there! This is Malak here! Welcome to Art Bits; where each month, the spotlight is going to be on art. Since this is the first article, I thought I’d start off with art that comes directly from our newsfeeds on social media.
In a single newsfeed, you come across tens of posts that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. A deep philosophical post by a friend of yours is so casually followed by your uncle’s revelation of the huge conspiracy theory we should all be aware of, etc. In the midst of all what’s going on around us, we seem to lack this connection with what’s going on within us; our own intimate feelings and emotions, those that make us who we are. Upon this realization, came Jovanny Varela-Ferreyra’s motivation to create The Artidote.
After leaving Berlin-artparasites, Jovanny Varela-Ferreyra decided to create his very own platform: The Artidote. He combines visual artwork with quotes (or written artwork) to create a unique artistic combination: the “empathetic power”, in which he totally believes. You see, art – be it dance, poetry, music, painting, or anything else – is an expression of the artist; of his innermost being. When you come across a work of art, you come across another human’s perspective, another human’s inner world.
Once you’re able to relate to this other human being, and see things from their perspective for just a moment, you’ll have cultivated empathy; a condition that, according to Jovanny, dissolves the possibility of conflict and “allows for love to be transferred more fluidly between individuals & societies”. And when we’re better able to understand others, won’t we become better able to understand ourselves?
The choice of the silhouetted bull’s head in the logo further illustrates The Artidote’s purpose. Jovanny explains that it’s inspired by The Great Big Bull from “The Hall of Bulls” in Lascaux, France; a drawing that’s considered to be the largest on a cave wall. Ancient shamans are thought to have drawn images like these as a way to communicate the needs of their tribes to the high spirits.
Fast forward a thousand and something years later, and you have drawings on social media walls! It seems like we’ve always used art as a means of communicating what matters most to us.
You’ll find The Artidote on various social media feeds: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and even Snapchat. Its posts go under several hashtags/segments. There are the ongoing traditional ones, like: #NoteToSelf, #TodaysMantra, etc. And there are more occasional, special ones, like: #WeatherReport, #LimitedTimePost, etc. A #LimitedTimePost will stay up only for 15 minutes for the lucky few who get to catch it. A post that goes under #WeatherReport will be a submission by a follower that Jovanny pairs up with an artwork.
Till next time
Why don’t you go take a look for yourself? Not at a cave wall! But your Facebook feed. And don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below.