Kim Kardashian West needed to bare her booty in an attempt to "break the internet" for Paper Magazine, but move over Kim, the Queen has just side stepped your attempts in grand fashion. Beyoncé's birth announcement photo, published yesterday, has captured more than 8 million likes on Instagram as of this writing, making it the most liked photo to ever grace the social media platform.
The general public has been enraptured by the photo. Her following, know as the Beyhive, is in a buzz over their Queen expecting twins, leaving nearly 400,000 comments on her post. As reported by The Verge, Beyoncé's announcement trounced the previous single image record held by Selena Gomez, by more than two million likes.
Like many of you, my Social Media has been a hum with all the chatter around this photo, particularly from fellow photographers, many who believe the image leaves a lot to be desired.
While the Internet, especially photographers, are often hyper critical of posted works, this image seems to stand out as a true example of love it or hate it. The image was shot by Awol Erizhu, the Los Angeles based multimedia artist, a Cooper Union School of Art graduate, who has reportedly trained under the likes of David LaChapelle. With a background in mixed mediums, Erizhu's works of art are not necessarily known for being strong pieces of photographic mastery, begging the question, should this photo be taken at face value and judged as a piece of photography, or should we being looking at it as a work of art? If we are considering this as a photograph, is this 1980's throwback worthy of Internet fandom? Is it the photo or the subject that propels this into a small space in history? And finally is bad art, done purposefully, still capable of being good and making a statement?
The answers to all these questions likely vary from person to person. The art world has a weird way of allowing people into it's elite levels for releasing rule breaking pieces that are often "misunderstood." I have no doubt that this will be among those pieces elevated. The fake foliage and seemingly "tossed on last minute" piece of toile are likely statement pieces beyond my artistic understanding. Then again, I am just a photographer. When one looks at the album of images as a whole a much more complex story begins to emerge. Perhaps there is genius to be found the whole, rather than the single image that has been plucked and catapulted into internet fame. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Do you love it, or hate it?