All images by Mike Mellia. Used with permission
I think that without any argument, anyone can make a powerful defense to say that we as a society are quite self-absorbed. That’s the premise behind Mike Mellia’s project called Self-Absorbed. It is a satire on society’s “me, me, me, me, me, me, me, not you me” fixation via social media and other venues. It is an ongoing project that started in 2012 and in addition to the production of the products, Mike has been creating the items and placing them in bodegas around NYC. Mellia believes that people create the own brand through social media and he combines this belief with iconic advertising in American culture.
We talked to Mike about the project, his creative process, and his views of American society.
Phoblographer: It’s super easy to see how millennials and others are very self absorbed, but what actually broke the camel’s back and made you want to create a project about being self-absorbed?
Phoblographer: You’ve been doing this project since 2012, what are your plans for it and where do you ultimately want to take it?
Phoblographer: Why did you choose the items that you have? I totally understand how people can be so absorbed and addicted to cigarettes, but something like a cleaning agent? Were you really just trying to mimic branding icons as you state in the description or is there a segment of the population being poked at in each image?
Phoblographer: Tell us about your creative process for this. Is there any story boarding involved?
Phoblographer: When you leave the objects in bodegas, have you ever seen how people have reacted at all? What is it like?
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