What happens when German street artist Vermibus takes on the fashion industry’s troubling ideals of beauty in his recent series “Dissolving Europe“?
A disturbing, nightmarish and an ironic dehumanization of something already debased by the stroke of a virtual photoshop brush.
In this case, a translucent swipe of real-world paint does not cover beauty, but instead reveals a deeper layer, one that is often shadowed by the industry’s imposing of a culture-wide physical inferiority complex to drive consumerism.
Through the act of defacing, Vermibus reveals this disturbing truth about the industry itself, an act made even more potent by exhibiting his work in illicit galleries, that is, on subway walls and on bus stops where his ad portraits hang. In an act of ironic inversion, he essentially transcends the subliminally conspicuous advertising spaces.
His goal is not simply to exact a commentary on his personal views of the beauty-dictating advertising industry, but to recover the space of the viewer from consumerism and transforming it into a cultural space.
The very fact that his creations will inevitably be covered up and erased is part of the overall effect. The fleeting nature of his works by way of censorship will turn the space back into an area of consumption once again.
The cycle is repeated.
The space is returned to its “normal” state.
Everything is consumed. Eaten by itself.
We live in a culture of encouraged obesity wherein the monetary driving point is the perfectly proportioned image of the photo-shopped human ideal.