Title: The emotional statement: profile photo and self-branding in the art world

Authors: Yujia Zhang; Maurice Benayoun

Addresses: School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong ' School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Abstract: Along with the growing usage of the internet and social media, everyone has a new opportunity to construct a new identity - online identity. As one of the most significant channels of self-presence, profile photo contains more than facial features. It is rather the emotional statement. The art world is selected as the main object under inspection, as an ecosystem with distinctive subgroups. By studying the emotional structure of profile photos, we discover that artists show less happiness in the way of their online identity construction. We use the idea of self-branding to illustrate the phenomenon, as 'coolness' is a significant value for an artist. In a word, this paper has testified three hypotheses: 1) different emotional statements are for diverse career ecosystems; 2) for subgroups, emotional statements are customised to their target audiences; 3) artists pay more attention to 'self-construction' than 'pleasing the audience', and this could affect their degree of happiness.

Keywords: emotion; artist; self-branding; profile photo.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2020.108629

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2020 Vol.12 No.2, pp.174 - 196

Received: 12 Sep 2019
Accepted: 23 Apr 2020

Published online: 07 Jul 2020 *

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