“Comfortably Numb” is a digital dark surrealism photo manipulation enhanced by digital painting techniques, assembled in Adobe Photoshop. Inspired by the song “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd and the novel “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley.
The world around us is still filled with war, unequality, social conflicts and a dominant class that pulls the strings and make us believe in false democracies. The markets dictate what’s the new trend, our lifestyles and even what’s morally correct. We live in a constant advertisement, and as the gradually more recurrent capitalist cycles (based in monetary contradictions and debt as well as the Global South exploitation) happen at a faster rate, we are offered all kinds of sedatives and drugs to ignore the exploitation we suffer in our job positions or at the injustices and crimes the political class commit in the name of freedom. Choose your soma: antidepressants, cocaine, LSD, television, social media, alcohol, streaming services, gambling… the list is almost endless.
This political illustration features exactly that: A working class individual ignoring the catastrophe surrounding him as he is sedated by drugs and TV. I decided to model for this image because I am sedated as well, despite being aware of certain things: It’s impossible to escape.
From the character’s head, hundreds of pills ascend to the skies while he holds a remote TV on his hand in a pose that could very well be the same as when you pledge for your Constitution. The bulb and polaroid photos represent the ideas and creativity being carried away by the drugs, therefore leaving the body that conceived them. In the opposite area, the background, we have a city in flames probably at war, with the sky filled with black smoke forming a subtle skull that presages death.
“Comfortably Numb” is a powerful political statement to reminds us that our modern societies are probably dystopias arranged in the past. Its contrast and warm color palette juxtapose a passive main character with an exploding city, and the tense and flowing composition brings movement and action. A bold statement to have in any home and to remind ourselves everyday that we are sedated but we can fight it.