Every selfie you take, every Instagrammed picture of your friends, and cropped shot of your food says something about who you are. But social media doesn’t necessarily show the whole picture, rather it is a carefully curated version of ourselves – and that act of preening and cultivating an online persona is no different than branding and advertising. At least that is the preposition of photographer Mike Mellia‘s latest work, Self-Absorbed.
Mellia takes iconic brands such as Aunt Jemima maple syrup, Marlboro cigarettes and Kentucky Fried Chicken and photographs and blends himself into their logos. He then places the redesigned packaging in bodegas and supermarkets around New York for people to find. Effectively Mellia made his self-portrait into a brand, and put that brand out there for the world to see. It is not unlike what millions do on a daily basis on Facebook, Vine or Instagram. Explains Mellia:
In a consumer-driven society of product-placement and constant contact through technology. The self-absorbed Facebook generation and advertisers make the exact same self-branding decisions.
Self-Absorbed is product placement for the Me generation, where the product being advertised is our very selves.
Click the gallery below to see Mellia’s photographs: