Look at this image. This image was sent to me via text message by my friend Connor earlier today. The caption was “I cannot even HANDLE this” and I was very confused. You can’t read the text in the photo, so what on earth is this? I looked at the squares of color for a moment, completely mystified about what on earth they were supposed to be, maybe the text was supposed to give context to the squares and Connor had simply made an error. And then it hit me.
The squares of color are the classic Constanza.jpg meme broken down into it’s most basic of details. Based on nothing more than the colors, I was able to recognize his skin, shirt, the blue of fence behind him and conjure an image in my mind of the intended source material.
Pointillism is an art movement that was born out of impressionism. It is characterized by dots of color applied in very specific patterns to display the suggestion of the subject material.
The above image is from Seurat’s classic Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte. There is very little precise detail in the image. Instead, Seurat applies small groupings of colored dots to show the viewer a man’s mustache or the the brim of a hat.
By applying this knowledge to Costanza.jpg, we can conclude that the image the Connor sent to me earlier could possibly be classified as a pointillist meme.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if All Your Base and the Dancing Baby were the birth of the meme, and things like Advice Dog and Rickroll were the Renaissance, then we have finally reached impressionist memes and I for one cannot wait for the abstract.