by Astrid Hermes
A palm tree beach. The ideal generic image. It’s a pretty ubiquitous image to be found on digital media. As stock photos, desktop-wallpaper. A symbol for care free happiness. An idealized picture of our home planet.
This picture by Astrid Hermes of a palm tree is not that picture. Although in fact it is. It is wallpaper. Literally. It is a picture of wallpaper on a wall. Once this picture was as blue and bright and inviting as you picture reading the words ‘palm tree beach’. Someone took that picture and pasted it on their wall. They wanted to keep the illusion close, to change their outlook from their wall or window to the one in the picture. They kept it there. I imagine they either do not actually look at the picture any more, in their mind they still see the original blue water and white beach. Now Astrid has taken this picture. And you can see it for what it really is.
The power of a digital wallpaper is it never fades or muddles. It will always reflect the same idealized image. This picture of Astrid Hermes can be your memento mori. Do not fall for the seduction of perfect images. Do not believe in the unchanging fantasy. Remember that anything is perishable. The image has been manipulated slightly to emphasize the effect of fading and degration. The effect will never change or fade.
Art does not give you what you want but what you need.
Or you can use it as an ironic wallpaper on your computer.
What's in the download?
The download includes: the highest resolution of the photograph available, the psd source file, a desktop wallpaper sized version and optimized versions for iPhone and iPad, both retina and classic.
Astrid Hermes was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and still lives and works there.
Her early work won her third place in the prestigious Prix the Rome competition, It featured human bodies, often naked, in strange postures and without showing the face, which showed us something about the person being portrayed which was more like an attitude or a mood than a portrait. In the later photographs of Astrid Hermes the people are no longer physically present; objects and empty spaces seem to be filled with stories, charged with a laden or melancholic presence. She has exhibited in the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Indonesia and the USA.