As the great Anatolian mystic Mevlana once implied, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. However, our eyes also envy beauty along with success or happiness as much as we admire them. That’s why we have developed beliefs and charms to protect ourselves from envy and other malevolent feelings and forces in different cultures over centuries. Amongst them, the “eye amulet” in the round shape of a cobalt-blue eye is one of the most renowned ones. In many cultures, including but not limited to Persian, Turkish, Greek, Arab, Afghan and Hindu, the eye amulet is believed to dispel the ill effects of the evil eye (Nazar in Arabic and also in Turkish), a malicious gaze out of envy.

Ironically, in our digital age, we constantly envy others and want to being envied by them. That’s why, we share our most special and happiest moments on social media while mostly hiding unhappiness and everyday difficulties. Through our perpetual and voluntary generation of personal information, we also allow governments and big corporations to monitor us. We are almost living in an Orwellian dystopia in which surveillance is ubiquitous. Thus, we perhaps need the eye amulet more than ever today.

Eyes comprises two different versions of a screen full of eyes: the one dominated by black and white; and the other of blue shades in reference to the eye amulet. In this contemporary artpiece, Dessens tells us a story about humankind’s dark and bright sides through eyes as the projectors of good and bad feelings; our eyes reflecting sometimes happiness, sometimes sadness, sometimes admiration; and sometimes envy and rage. Eyes is also a story of today’s society in which it is almost impossible not to become a subject to the modern forms of surveillance. Eyes ultimately calls us to think about how our very existence has unprecedentedly become dependent on our visibility on social media, how we desperately need the attention of others and how we have become digital voyeurs and volunteer exhibitionists.


Additional information
ARTIST David Dessens
DIMENSIONS 65” (81 × 144 cm)
EDITION 12 + 2AP + 1P
MATERIALS Screen, Software, Hardware landscape or portrait
PRICE $38.500
YEAR 2021