showing up at the berlin-artparasites page like pic.twitter.com/FhxBXpZbfW
— berlin-artparasites (@ArtParasites) May 4, 2015
Considering the German capital’s identity as the epicentre of contemporary art – its rich history of artistic movements like the Die Brücke and the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity), boasting of greats like Otto Dix, Edvard Munch and Paul Klee, a city so steeped in art we couldn’t scrape the tip of the ice berg in an article even if we tried – considering all that, it’s only natural that us netizens, in our sticky web of high speed internet and lazy morning scrolling, should be experiencing literary and visual stimulation at the hands of berlin-artparasites.
What began as an art magazine, following Berlin’s art scene, has grown into a nameless, faceless art project (or perhaps a multi-headed beast of visual culture). Making good use of the social media trinity – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – this crafty little parasite shares with the world a delectable array of paintings, mixed media and digital art, photography, complete and incomplete sketches, sculptures and installations. Curated by artist-writer Jovanny Varela-Ferreyra, originally from Mexico, the now iconic art parasite, a black mosquito on yellow, delivers a melange of literary snippets and accompanying visuals (or is it the other way around?) to 1.2 million people on Facebook alone. That’s incredible reach for an outfit that deals with the free enjoyment of art – the least utilitarian of all things in our scrambling, fast-paced, sales and profit-oriented globalized societies.
But why does a Facebook page churning out a bunch of quotes and images matter? The description reads: “Compelling artwork that alters the way we live, love, work, play, think and feel.” And so far it’s doing a pretty good job. Each post is composed of one of those profound little lines or passages you’ve always been tempted to highlight and an art piece that generally does complement the tone of the words. While sometimes the collision of two independent narratives – textual and visual – may come across as jarring, citing the issue of mental well-being and depression, Ferreyra sees this fusion as facilitating a much needed emotional response from the read-viewer. Here, art must pave a way to an “increase in understanding and a decrease in conflict — a condition that allows for love to be transferred more fluidly between individuals and societies.” Some of you might dismiss this as touch-feely, floral-hippie nonsense, but a quick look at some posts might reveal the potency of the art Ferrerya diligently adds to berlin-artparasites’ stash:
“…Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life…