Facebook and my ever-changing moods

Irish artist Michael Gurhy documents his evolving relationship with the social networking site.

WE HAVE become a nation of Facebookers. Step aside Big Brother, and move out of the way Kim Kardashian, reality TV has been taken up a notch and it seems we are all stars in this global sitcom.

“Add me on FB” has demolished the retro act of exchanging mere mobile numbers, especially when you are one click away from a good old snoop through the photo albums of that new crush from the coffee house.

OK, so I am teasing just a little, but it does feel like checking your Facebook account has become as much an obligatory task of everyday life as checking your email.

My personal relationship with Facebook has changed over the past few years as Facebook itself has evolved. Perhaps its biggest change has been its transition in appearance to timeline. Since then, I have certainly started to treat Facebook less as a social media site and more like a blog. I regularly post quotes, share images and upload photographs that document my daily adventures.

I will use Facebook to sieve through upcoming events, and to stay connected to family and friends.

Occasionally Facebook has even been the catalyst in collaborating on projects with people I would otherwise have not had the opportunity to meet, let alone work with.

So, in retrospect my six-year relationship with Facebook has been a positive one.

For me it has become a source for inspiration, a means to stay connected and an opportunity to publicise my work to new potential audiences. I think the secret to successful, productive Facebooking is very simple — as in life, surround yourself with people and interests that uplift and stimulate you.

My relationship with Facebook has spanned over six years documenting moments from college, work, collaborative projects, fashion highs (and faux pas!), handlebar moustaches and a lot of changing hairstyles.

I’ve launched a Facebook page showcasing my T-shirt designs, headbands and art prints.

www.facebook.com/michael.gurhy

www.facebook.com/exquisitedecadence

www.twitter.com/eros_at_risk

vanquishedbylove.tumblr.com/

Instagram: @exquisitedecadence

So here I am backstage at the CAT club dressed as gang leader Billy… from a Clockwork Orange. Besides my rather minor role on stage (I wouldn’t break out the Oscar just yet!) my main involvement with this project was with fellow artist Tara Fox sourcing the costumes for the show.

Directed by the very talented John Hayes and with a cast of extremely creative and driven individuals, I can honestly say I truly bonded with everyone involved in this production.

And as for the after party which took place in Waterford after the final show… well I think that may just have been a show of its own!


I almost look respectable in this one! This photo was taken at one of my favourite places to visit in Cork, the Crawford Gallery.

Throughout college me and my friends would come not only to the gallery but also to this Ballymaloe run café to coffee it up.

I don’t know what exactly they put in that jam but I remember distinctly waking up in the early hours of the morning and texting my friends “Crawford fix tomorrow!”

The Crawford Gallery also holds a special memory for me as I won the 2005 open submission with ‘The Sleep of Reason’ receiving the €5,000 prize, selected by Frances Morris and Enrique Juncosa.


Awww I love this picture of me and Jes. Where to start (besides the fact I had grown a full-blown handlebar moustache!)

Well, this profile pic was taken while doing the fashion design course at St Johns, a year which I will never forget, and which opened up so many opportunities for me in the world of fashion.

As well as working with the talented photographer Miki Barlok, I was shortlisted by Joanne Hynes for the Gillette dress of your dreams competition and also had the opportunity of showcasing my art, along with six other Cork artists, in the window of Brown Thomas as part of Art and Style.


No I’m not a filthy vandal!

This profile photo was taken when I did work experience for the Brown Thomas window display team.

Glitter, snow, oversized swans, ribbon and reindeer, yes, you guessed it, I was lucky enough to be working on the Christmas window.

I had such an amazing time. I gained such a valuable insight into exactly how much behind-the-scenes hard work goes on for the displays.

This dedicated team of multi-taskers in there put so much work into not only every window but also every display in the store.


So this was the photo that exposed my newest arm tattoo to my mom (sorry, mom).

This was taken during the Art and Style event.

I was given complete freedom by Brown Thomas, setting up my macabre window installation of gothic crow inspired handbags.

It was a joy to work with Hilda and Kathy from the Brown Thomas display team and to see the whole project come together as they carefully worked their magic incorporating items from the store to complement my installation (yes, this included an Alexander McQueen clutch bag).


Anyone who knows me will openly tell you I’m going to end up a crazy cat person. Fast forward 30 years and it’s going to be a scene from Grey Gardens — me surrounded by cats and delusions of grandeur.

This was my Christmas profile pic and the kitty in question is Nico.

I remember how excited I was in this photo because I had just bought the new Polaroid camera form Fuji, I used to love taking Polaroids but finding film online was becoming expensive.

The launch of this Polaroid camera has secured the future of Polaroid photography will not just be an app on a smartphone!


This one is a self-portrait from an exhibition of work I have on show in one of Soho’s best-kept secrets, Maison Bertaux.

Maison Bertaux is a quaint and somewhat understated galley and café. Perhaps this gallery’s unconventional appeal and allure stems from its hostess Tania Wade.

It’s no wonder Noel Fielding nicknamed her the ‘hooligan art dealer’ a name which she now seems to wear like a badge of honour.

This venue has turned into somewhat of a celebrity haunt and has even shown exhibitions of work by the band Sigur Ros and most recently comedian Harry Hill.


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