USC Roski School of Art and Design: USC Wellness Campaign
Roski students created self-portraits that captured the complex emotions of living under COVID-19 safety protocols.
Eating a Virus
In this piece I wanted to convey the feeling of the “new normal”. Daily practices like washing our hands have completely changed over the last year. Personally, I find myself monitoring the time in which I wash my hands and I’ve begun to notice how dirty the world is. This inspired me to push the act of washing hands by surrounding myself with a toxic environment that subsequently invades covid-prone areas. Please wash your hands, don’t eat covid germs.
The pandemic has made me realize how much I hate being by myself. It’s difficult to see friends but social distancing is necessary to protect yourself and the people you care about. By highlighting aspects of isolation while also interacting with pandemic-centric elements, this piece represents the desire to see those who I miss most but only interacting from a distance.
Art & Design Major
For my self-portrait, titled Earthlings, I wanted to create an otherworldly experience in which viewers can tangibly feel the sense of terror and anxiety that has plagued us all in the last year. The consistent use of transparency is a nod to the lack of transparency in how our world leaders have handled the Coronavirus. Not only were we all disillusioned with the existence and severity of the virus by the Chinese government, but several world leaders have withheld information regarding its spread, infamously Mr. President #45. The transparency is also aimed at conveying a feeling of sterility, but also uncertainty, in the contraction and spread of the virus even when taking necessary precautions.
In this strange time, where we are isolated in our own spaces, I wanted my piece to live in a context outside of our homes. I was inspired by 60s space-age fashion to the likes of Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges, and wanted my figures to convey that whimsical quality in contrast to the anxious glass portrait. I often feel that we are very self-absorbed beings, and the Coronavirus has served as a reminder that we are mere Earthlings, fragile and fleeting.
Window to the Soul
Too often do I feel that wearing a mask means I have to assume the heaviness of the whole pandemic. Keeping a conscious mind is vital no doubt, but please don’t forget, there are still simple reasons to smile.
With this shot I wanted to depict those stolen glances with masked strangers. I’ve been experimenting with quilts and self portraits over lockdown so this was the perfect confluence of mediums. I’m a multimedia artist but have been really developing my textile practice over quarantine; the quilt pictured here is one of the first I made during the pandemic. I wanted to portray the quilt, symbolic of our collective creations, as the light in the darkness of lockdown, the light at the end of the tunnel.
My Mind was Born Here
There is never a moment I am not traveling—that is, in my head. The pandemic has placed our lives on a halt, but it cannot overtake the power of our imagination. My Mind Was Born Here is a digital illustration dedicated to a dear friend of mine who moved to Santorini seven years ago. I am reminiscing this piece—thankful and relieved our friendship withstands the 7,000 miles and 10 hour time difference. It is quite a strange feeling that this has become the new “normal”.
I have still yet to visit her and Santorini; I could only imagine how beautiful it is. As I hope for the day we can meet again, I close my eyes and take a trip through my imagination.