Hyperrealistic Illustrations That Portray The Complexities Of Modern Love

Elena Masci illustrates the bad habits that keep us from living our emotional lives fully.

Everybody knows that putting feelings into words is difficult. This happens to everyone at least once in their lives: we start feeling bad, or we realize that we’ve been unhappy for a long time, but we don’t know why. We only know something prevents us from truly connecting with people and building long-lasting relationships, and we simply can’t explain it. If we’re lucky, the feeling dissipates, but we can end up dragging it for so long that we start believing it will last forever and all our relationships are doomed to fail, but that’s not necessarily true. So what can we do to clarify those unarticulated emotions?

People often suggest talking about it with a friend, going to therapy, writing down a long list of what bothers us, and all sorts of exercises that are meant to shed light on our sadness. Those methods might work, but sometimes an image is enough to see what happens in our minds. Elena Masci, an incredibly talented illustrator from Italy, might be the artist whose work you need to admire if you want to understand the internal struggles that modern love can create within all of us. Her illustrations, which are simultaneously hyperrealistic and simple, contain surreal elements that perfectly describe feelings that would sound illogical or absurd with words alone.

We might think our emotions are getting more complicated, but each generation has its own particular set of problems when it comes to love and relationships. However, we can’t deny that thanks to technology, social media, dating apps, and other advances we’re now encountering new and perplexing ways to interact with others. Those changes affect our sentimental lives in unexpected ways, so recurring to art can help us process everything a little better. For instance, after seeing our comfort zone portrayed as a fishbowl surrounded by sharks, we canrealize that we’re struggling to choose between the risk of unlimited freedom and the boredom of restricted safety. 

Among her portraits we can also see a fragmented woman with leaves coming out of her. Do we recognize ourselves in that image? Don’t we frequently feel similarly fragmented, divided by contradictory desires? Maybe we have a crush on someone, we check their social media several times a day, but we refuse to actually talk to them anyway. Perhaps we want to start a relationship, but everything fails before it even begins because we’re too afraid of disappointing them in case they only like the perfect social media image that has little to do with who we really are. After discovering that about our behavior, what should we do about it? Will those negative feelings fade after we come to understand the reasons behind them?

One thing is certain: Elena Masci has a special eye for the bad habits that keep us from living our emotional lives to the fullest. Whatever we project on the images, wrong or right, will help us see ourselves more clearly. Even in images where the meaning is obvious, like the realistic heart that includes the option to power off, we’re reminded that technology helps with practical things, but it cannot solve the messiest parts of our essence.

If you want to see more of her work, take a look at her official Instagram page.

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