Simranpreet Anand, 𝒜 𝓌𝒽𝑜𝓁𝑒 𝓃𝑒𝓌 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝓁𝒹 ✿.｡.:* ☆:*:. 𝔻ⓞｎ'Ｔ уᵒ𝓊 ᗪ𝕒Řє 𝐜𝐥𝐎𝔰Ⓔ ⓨ𝐨ｕя єʸ𝔢ｓ) .::.☆.:｡.✿, 2020, found Instagram images and Photoshop. Courtesy the artist.
Simranpreet Anand: 𝒜 𝓌𝒽𝑜𝓁𝑒 𝓃𝑒𝓌 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝓁𝒹 ✿.｡.:* ☆:*:. 𝔻ⓞｎ'Ｔ уᵒ𝓊 ᗪ𝕒Řє 𝐜𝐥𝐎𝔰Ⓔ ⓨ𝐨ｕя єʸ𝔢ｓ) .::.☆.:｡.✿
This series of found Photoshopped images mines public selfies by Instagram users who are recommended to the artist, highlighting the phenomenon of the so-called Instagram Face, which refers to make-up trends and cosmetic procedures and that play to the racial biases of the platform’s users and algorithms. A 2019 New Yorker article described these biases as “an overly tan skin tone, a South Asian influence with the brows and eye shape, an African-American influence with the lips, a Caucasian influence with the nose, a cheek structure that is predominantly Native American and Middle Eastern.” In each portrait of the series, a black overlay leaves only the eyes of the subject visible, mapping the formulaic nature of these images, which are rooted in a distinctly digital performance of gendered beauty and self-exoticization.
 “The Age of Instagram Face,” Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, published December 12, 2019, accessed June 8, 2020,https://www.newyorker.com/culture/decade-in-review/the-age-of-instagram-face.
Simranpreet Anand is an artist, curator and cultural worker creating and working on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and Səl̓ílwətaɬ Peoples (Vancouver). Raised in a diasporic Punjabi community as the daughter of immigrant parents, Anand’s childhood was filled with cross-cultural tension that cultivated her interests in the relationships between culture, familial history and subjective experience. Her work confronts systemic racism and parallel settler colonial structures through their relationships to misunderstanding, failure, humour, boundaries, and language. She is committed to a socially-engaged practice, and has worked with documenta 14, the Surrey Art Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Rungh, and SFU Galleries.
[Image descriptions (as a series): This work is a collection of 30 found images mined by the artist from Instagram selfies and prepared in Photoshop. The title itself is an artistic exploration grounded in the trend of using stylized text in Instagram captions. The work is titled “A whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes)” rendered in a combination of cursive lettering and symbols including flowers, stars, asterisks, and different styles of text. The work is three Instagram posts, ten images in each post. Each image is of one South Asian woman in heavy makeup posing for a selfie. Here, a black overlay is added to hide all but their eyes and eyebrows from the original selfies. The women have penciled-in, manicured eyebrows, some with a bindi on their forehead sometimes matching in colour to their eyeshadows, and heavy almost drag-like makeup on the eyes, with the gaze directed at the viewer. Lashes are long and lush, and many women have the reflection of a circle-shaped light bulb over their pupils, creating both the look of a professional photograph and of having highlights within the pupil. Each set of eyes appears at a slightly different part of the image, though all near the top. Some are tilted at an angle, some facing straight on. When viewed quickly one after the other, the sets of eyes appear to dance across the screen.]