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Carla Gannis

The Garden of Emoji Delights

Hero Image for Carla Gannis

With her work, Carla Gannis makes the viewer think further about emoticons and how to use them rather than the usual couple of seconds of deciding which one expresses their mood best.

Gannis’s work is a digital-age version of painter Hieronymus Bosch’s over 500-year-old masterpiece, the triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Whereas in Bosch’s time, people’s lives were given meaning by God, to whom they were accountable for their actions, in modern times this dimension has been replaced by a virtual one. While one artist seeks contact with a divine system on a certain level, another is connecting with an equally total system that reaches into the phones of us all. Bosch’s work contains conflict, humour, darkness and absurdity, all of which go hand in hand with being human, and Gannis’s compelling work, a critique of the times, shows that not much has changed.

“Emoticons are a modern pictographic system, essentially an emotional speedwriting for virtual self-expression.”
- Carla Gannis