(PRWEB) December 06, 2013
This week the social media search and statistics center called Top on Social released its annual rankings of popular artists that use social media platforms to share their work and connect with fans. On the list at number five is the controversial artist known as Seph Lawless.
His social media platforms are currently spreading across the globe with the help of his Instagram account, @SephLawless. Most users on Instagram have likely come across his work at least once. He is one of the most popular Instagram users and is routinely featured on the Explore page - a feature that shares popular users alongside popular celebrities like Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and the Kardashians.
His images are accompanied by his words that captivate thousands of users. Every image he uploads receives thousands of likes and hundreds of comments and Seph Lawless is fast approaching 100k followers that eagerly anticipate his next upload. His success on the internet has led to a book called “Autopsy of America – The Journal Entries of Seph Lawless” that has already sold over 5,000 copies the first month of its release.
“Instagram has given me global reach beyond my wildest imagination” says Seph Lawless. His work not only spreads across the globe but also gets recognized by celebrities like Rihanna, who supports his work from her Instagram account. Recently, she even commented that she finds his work to be “inspiring.”
However, controversy has surrounded Seph Lawless from the very beginning. He has been arrested over 50 times for trespassing into abandoned houses and buildings to capture these unique photographs. Police and city officials nationwide are not fans of his work.
It’s not just his images - his words have also created controversy recently.
On August 7, Scene magazine, in a piece called The Art of the Autopsy: Photographer Seph Lawless Spends his Days Documenting Decaying Ruins, called Seph Lawless’ work “a diagnostic for some of the country’s true ills.” His work focuses on the poorest and the most neglected parts of America that most people never see.
“My goal was always to bring these images into the public in a very creative way. To me it’s imperative that people see the vulnerable side of America. I don’t think things will change until we face these problems, so I decided to shove these images into as many people’s faces as I could. Instagram has been an ideal vehicle for me to achieve that” says Seph Lawless. His work often stirs controversy and some refer to him as anti-American, something he strongly denies.
“I’m not proud to be an American. I’m here to show the world how f**ked up my country really is, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my country. I do, or else I would be taking selfies and pictures of food like most people” says Seph Lawless.
Seph Lawless is known to criticize the U.S. government, especially pertaining to America’s foreign policy. His social media accounts spread his words across the globe, where he seeks to promote creativity and healthy expression of thoughts and concerns on controversial topics.
“I get emails all the time from people all over the world thanking me for talking about some of these issues. A Pakistani fan wrote me recently saying he never knew an American could think this way. I don’t think people realize how powerful that really is. I’m breaking down walls and promoting healthy dialogue. Most of my fans are young. I can encourage them to explode with creativity instead of using bombs,” says Lawless, going on to explain that he feels some of his followers would turn to violence if they felt like they didn’t have a voice and that no one was hearing them out.
About Seph Lawless:
Lawless is considered an artivist – a word that was created by combining artist and activist. According to his official website, http://www.SephLawless.com, “The Artivist (Artist + Activist) uses their creativity to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression by any medium necessary ...a pen, a lens, a brush, a voice ...even your body.”
Like many other artivists, Seph Lawless keeps his identity hidden. A trait he says is crucial for any artivist. “Many artivist are breaking the law in some fashion, so hiding your identity is a survival mechanism that was started by the earliest of graffiti artists” says Lawless. Very little is known about his real identity and he rarely exposes his face in pictures.
To view more of Seph Lawless’ work, visit him on Instagram @SephLawless and http://www.SephLawless.com
All photos published here were taken by Seph Lawless (@SephLawless on Instagram, SephLawless.com)