Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Open Access

Project Type

MA Project - Curatorial Proposal

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Contemporary Art

First Advisor

Aliza Shvarts

Second Advisor

Morgan Falconer


The purpose of this exhibition, Distorted Icons in Contemporary Art: An Examination into How We Know What We Know and Why, is to explore the nature of icons, specifically contemporary renditions of modern or traditional icons. Colloquially, icons are a symbol of something well-known or an image that is easily recognizable. Traditionally, icons refer to religious figures, most commonly devotional paintings in Roman Catholic and Orthodox Greek churches and are used as a means of prayer to represent peace, piety and faith. However, what constitutes an icon in Western contemporary culture has changed significantly. Devotional images have been replaced by celebrities as cultural icons, relying on politicians, TV personalities, singers and even more recently TikTokers to influence our everyday life.