With more than a little swipe at the mobile phone industry and the current obsession with self, “The last Selfie” by JP McLaughlin reads like a damning apocalyptic, narcissistic vision of the world.
In an ever-changing and social media obsessed world, with protests happening over the “big red button” of nuclear arms hovering like a Spector in our mobile-friendly lives, JP has touched a nerve with this stark painting with its 50’s propaganda touching base with a modern message.
There is just something decidedly self-absorbed in the work with the nuclear mushroom sprouting in the background as she clicks one last image for her timeline or fans, you can almost hear her thoughts as she clicks off the picture “I look so good right now in this light” while a cloud of white-hot fire burns the world around her the sheer ignorance of the situation (and in the broader sense) the world, flies past her in much the same way as the clouds of dust and ash.
Like a pop art tribute to “Me” culture, this painting is a symbolic act of war, high lighting the absolute single-mindedness of people who see nothing in the world to phase them so long as their eyebrows are on fleek, their selfies are noteworthy and that the world at large has no meaning to them as they click away their fleeting seconds with the single-minded pursuit of “perfection.”
A chilling representation of a dystopic world of cell phones and selfies being the center of life and anything that disturbs that singular act is not worthy of attention even as the world falls to its knees in a much-protested act of disaster by human hands, ironically missed by the selfie capturing socialite.
A modern interpretation of the old story “as Rome burned, so Nero did fiddle.”
For more on the artist see his website: https://jpmclaughlin.co.uk