September 5, 2012

“I am Payasita Gonzalez, Jessica Boston” really cool and really fucking weird

1:17 pm in art events dustin hostetler

What a strikingly odd concept for an art show:

My name is Jessica Boston and I would like to tell you about my latest project. On the 17th of August 2009, I created a Facebook account as an alias, ‘Payasita Gonzalez’ (Payasita meaning Clown).

It started when looking through my Venezuelan cousin’s Facebook friends, many of whom were clowns. Inspired, I wanted to have a better look at them but with the restrictions and privacy settings I couldn’t. I set up a fake profile, put up a photo of a female clown and added as many clowns as I could, including the ones I had seen earlier on my cousin’s page. This account was never meant to be more than an account I could use to spy on a subculture I had become interested in. It was fun and fulfilled my curiosity. I was able to access and observe people that, as myself, I wouldn’t have been able to.

This ‘found’ culture and the resulting images were so exciting to me I wanted to share them. It wasn’t enough simply to look at them. I made twenty five elaborate tapestries of my favourite clown friends as a way of honouring the secretive nature of my profile. They are all painted, hand sewn and based on original photos of these Facebook clowns. None of those featured know the work I have put into creating the works. The resulting twenty five pieces have been three years in the making; drawing and painting until the early hours and sewing in every spare minute until my fingers bled. You can see a few of the tapestries in the photos attached.

Incredibly, the photo I had been using as ‘Payasita Gonzalez’ belonged to a clown without a Facebook page (a very lucky coincidence). Two months ago I was called out by a friend of hers on using her picture. I had used her image for two and a half years without anyone noticing. However, the duplicity was two-fold – in my time using the page there was also another imposter using the same Facebook photo as me. Her name was Payasita Palomitas. 

The account is still active and without writing frequent posts on the page I get about 300 friend requests a month. These are based on my Facebook picture alone, (a photo-composite combining my face with the original found photo. A change I made when I was discovered as a fake, attached). The number of requests is around 299 more friend requests than I get on my ‘real’ Facebook page and I now have over 1500 friends.
The exhibition “Yo soy Payasita Gonzalez” (I am Payasita Gonzalez) will take place on the 8th September 2012, from 17.00 onwards in Tienda Derecha c/ Alegre de Dalt 16, Metro Joanic l4, Barcelona.

During the exhibition I will be live tagging all twenty five clowns in the photos of the embroideries. 
This will be the first time these clowns ever see these images of themselves. 

For those that can’t be at the exhibition you can add Payasita Gonzalez’ Facebook page and watch the live tagging drama unfold from 17.00 (Spain).
http://www.facebook.com/payasita.gonzalez1
You can find more information about the exhibition and project at 
http://www.jessicaboston.com/projects/payasita-gonzalez-embroidery-12
http://yosoypayasitagonzalez.tumblr.com


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