Having delved into the very heart of the beast, one might gain insight into the monster’s psyche—such is the impression conveyed by street artist SEBS.
For a decade or so, SEBS has adorned abandoned lots and decaying edifices, primarily across his native Portugal, with these paradoxically new/retro “ads.” Nestled within each product lies an astute critique of the advertising industry’s unflinching resolve to peddle wares indiscriminately, often disregarding their impact on individuals. The artist portrays a landscape where the allure of fresh terminology and technological novelty becomes, in the industry’s eyes, justification enough to champion and endorse anything, irrespective of its potential consequences.
“Are we just guinea pigs?” SEBS asks us in a recent email. At what point do these outlandish goods and services cross over into actual ones, and will we still find them outlandish?
The street artist SEBS softens the blow in a low-key, handmade way that comforts and reveals. He slices through glitzy promises and hollow catchphrases, revealing a relentless pursuit of profit that may cast aside ethical considerations. With a brush dipped in irony, he paints the industry’s audacious willingness to market anything, regardless of its impact on individuals and society. The advertising machine, he suggests, is all too eager to latch onto the latest buzzwords and technological novelties, treating them as a panacea that justifies the promotion of any idea or product.
“We live in the new age of technology. Technology is already part of our daily life,” he says.
“Tech kings selling us dreams with secrets behind the magic. We, the people, are impressed by the illusions of a world in constant adaptation.”
SEBS describes these new installations that he says are united by the technology theme. “One is about implanting chips in the skull, and the other is about how we can all become talented ‘singers’ through artificial intelligence,” he says
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