To protest against economic inequality, actor Adrian Grenier posted a picture of Kim Kardashian posed in a similar manner as the subject of a 19th century painting.
The photo from Kardashian's Instagram was originally posted by her in February. A composite of the photo with an 1867 painting by Spanish artist Leonardo Alenza y Nieto called "Maya Dormida," was used in an article on Artnet called "Ways of Seeing Instagram." From the Artnet article:
Technology has so democratized image-making that it has put the artistic power once mainly associated with aristocrats—to stylize your image and project yourself to an audience as desirable—into everyone's hands. (Although the parallel to art as "celebration of private property" is probably most vivid in the case of those who most closely resemble modern-day aristocrats. See: "Rich Kids of Instagram"). But images retain their function as game pieces in the competition for social status. "Doesn't this look delicious?" "Aren't I fabulous?" "Look where I am!" "Look what I have!"
Grenier uploaded the composite of Kardashian and the painting to his Instagram on Wednesday, along with a quote used in the article. The former Entourage star used the picture to highlight a discussion on income disparity and the role sites such as Instagram play in promoting glamorization of wealth. Below is Grenier's message posted which accompanied the composite photo:
#Instagram confirms class structure and distracts us from our true goals of equality and spiritual alignment with the true political needs of justice, free from the oppression of capitalism.
Excerpt[from the Artnet piece]: Glamour cannot exist without personal social envy being a common and widespread emotion. The industrial society which has moved towards democracy and then stopped half way is the ideal society for generating such an emotion. The pursuit of individual happiness has been acknowledged as a universal right. Yet the existing social conditions make the individual feel powerless. He lives in the contradiction between what he is and what he would like to be. Either he then becomes fully conscious of the contradiction and its causes, and so joins the political struggle for a full democracy which entails, amongst other things, the overthrow of capitalism; or else he lives, continually subject to an envy which, compounded with his sense of powerlessness, dissolves into recurrent day-dreams.
TL/DR: Rich people show off their shit on Instagram, which is just like the way rich people used to show off their shit in the olden days. Meanwhile the poors keep getting poorer, the rich keep getting richer. Actually, don't TL/DR the article; go back and read all of it because it makes a damn good point about just how far we've progressed in terms of economic equality.
Image via Artnet/Adrian Grenier Instagram.