Did this man paint your Grindr profile?
No one can deny that the social networking app has changed the way that queers talk, meet and engage in sex. Now, various Grindr profiles and conversations have become the subject of artist Adam Seymour's new series of paintings.
Called "G-Force," the series takes intriguing and compelling Grindr profiles and conversations that speak to Seymour on some level and and turns them into elaborate paintings. In order to understand "G-Force" better, The Huffington Post chatted with Seymour this week.
The Huffington Post: Where were you and what were you doing when you had the thought "I should start painting Grindr profiles"?
Adam Seymour: During my art studies, watching others paint serious conceptual art and still lifes, I looked through the images saved on my phone to find some painting inspiration. I had always sent humorous Grindr screenshots to my mates and thought this would make an interesting, talked about exhibition. Choosing to paint this subject matter reflects my playful artistic style. People tend to take themselves too seriously, both online and in the art world.
What draws you to a profile and makes you want to paint it?
I look for peculiar or extreme aspects to the profiles I chose for this project. Humorous tag lines, etc. I was also looking for a diverse collection of people to represent a cross-section of the Grindr-using homo community.
In the end I even had friends sending me screenshots of interesting profiles and conversations to add to the collection.
Do your subjects ever learn about your paintings? What have some of the reactions been?
A few have, yes. I've told a few friends I have painted their profiles, and mostly they think its pretty cool.
I've had some negative reactions from people who have been made to feel uncomfortable by seeing their profile in a second context. However, I believe, as my interpretations are highly stylized, that I have been respectful to the privacy of my subjects. It's interesting that this reaction occurs considering they have willingly uploaded the image themselves to the public realm.
I am now finding, as the project is gaining more media exposure, that friends are tagging the people whose profiles I've painted. I've even had people asking to buy their friends profiles as gifts for them.
What are your thoughts on Grindr as a cultural phenomenon? Is it a "good" thing? A "bad" thing? Somewhere in between?
I think Grindr is great. It's the way I see people using it, wasting hours of their time, and projecting their own, sometimes very personal, issues into a public forum that can be counter-productive to healthy social activity between gay men.
But, If you don't invest too much of yourself into the app, you can reap great rewards, make new friends, get travel tips, or a quick blow job on your lunch break.
Do you use Grindr?
Yes I do. I find it really useful whilst traveling to meet locals and get tips. I've even been upgraded in hotel rooms, flights, etc from befriending local homos in the know.