Nandan Ghiya is a former fashion design student who is now using a combination of photographs, paints, and found items to create intriguing mixed media portraits. In his series entitled “deFacebook” Ghiya obscures peoples’ defining facial characteristics by manually pixelating images with paint. Sometimes a person’s face becomes only two blocks of color. Pieces are cut and rearranged in a jagged ‘download error’ means of composition. Faces are taken away and bodies are disjointed, which almost complete strips the people of their human quality.
I feel his more successful pieces are the images that have been broken apart, and even the frame they are placed in has been deconstructed in the same way. It is small details such as that which really catch my attention. The works where the image is deconstructed, but the frame has not been deconstructed, seem somehow less intentional, and thus less important and interesting.
This series is an excellent portrayal of how the endless bombardment of imagery and information in today’s technological culture has desensitized our society. According to Nandan, “All individual or cultural value systems are defined by various physical factors ranging from ethnography, geography or economy. However, the advent of the digital has relocated everything on a virtual space. I grew up to a family of traditional art dealers in Jaipur, the 400 years old capital of Rajasthan. We had such old pictures hanging on our ancestral house walls. These were images of ancestors, gurus or political heroes. These had different associations for different people. Everyone connected with them at one level or another.” These portraits make the viewer consider the large influence that digital technology, the Internet, and social networking have on culture and personal identity.