In her series Digital Divide, Ellen de Meijer has painted ‘ceremony portraits’ of what she regards as the derailed and distorted human qualities that characterize modern mankind.
Her work shows ruthless portraits of what she sees as the symbolic and archetypal face of mankind in its ultimate struggle for survival; surrealistic portraits of elusive businessmen.
These figures, placed in the center of the canvas stare senselessly and indifferently in their empty surrounding and they form the solitary center of their own universe.
Although her ceremony portraits show sophisticated businesslike people with unemotional faces, de Meijer’s’ intention is to show the unseen in her figures; under-layers of human smallness, limitation and vulnerability. The disproportional bodily characteristics make her men and women petite and pompous at the same time. Occasionally, they are armed with digital gadgets that refer rather to a docile and tractable mass than they do to modernity.
The artist, through her portrayals seeks for recognition and confrontation. To that purpose she portrays the children as figures who are obviously genetically burdened but, differ from the adults most of all by the look in their eyes. Whereas the adults present themselves as cold, arrogant and seemingly supernatural, the children have a glance of fear and rejection in their eyes. Despite continuous exposure to digital and social media as well as materialistic wealth, it is that look in these children’s eyes that de Meijer regards as hope for future generations.