Sometimes recognition can from the least expected place. For Mark Abouzeid, a reference link from a visitor to his web site began an exploration with a very unexpected result: his New New World series had placed him in the top 50 results for 21st century famous artists.
While reviewing traffic to his blog, Abouzeid found a new link: http://lschmidtart.webs.com/apps/blog/show/32555736-journal-blog-1-fall-2013. The resulting page was an exercise for an art course which required students to use the search string to choose a work to critique. Nikki Smith chose Abouzeid’s “Amerigo Self-Portrait” originally painted by Botticelli.
“I chose a photo from Italian photographer Mark Abouzeid. It comes from the series “The New New World” series. The one I chose was the remix of Amerigo Vespucci. I can appreciate the fact that the immigrants used to remix the older paintings are realistic and relevant to the new age. I think the whole collection is rather interesting. The fact that it all started as a joke makes it more appreciative as I am a bit of a joker myself. Abouzeid himself is in the remix of Vespucci. Abouzeid was also an explorer. He made his way to the North Pole in 2009. There was controversy as to rather or not the artist used photoshop or not. Abouzeid insists that he did not. His claim was that he used little Photoshop magic and relyied more on detailed makeup, costume design, and background props.” Nikki J. Smith
This raised some curiosity in the artist but given that the original posting was made in 2013 he decided to try the same search string to see if it was still relevant. There it was, sandwiched between “American Gothic” and Picasso, in the top 50 images.
“I honestly don’t know what to make of this. I am without doubt honoured that the searching public considers my work of value but I think it is too early to say whether my ‘success’ will be lasting or fleeting. Time is the true measure of artistic impact.” Mark Abouzeid