Rendered with meticulous detail; these are glimpses into lives we will never know; images provided by the men contacted online; images of how they best felt represented. It is an intriguing and contrary approach to the normal creation of portraits. Kind of post-modern romanticism.
Are often the first words you read in a message on a gay dating app. Romance ensues in the form of shared albums. Nothing like our fond childhood memories of padded family albums with cellophane protection. As a dating gay man, my first introduction to a potential date is a "compulsory" face pic. This eliminates the murderers, trolls and closeted men. The dick pick in a variety of angles and postures follows. The asshole makes its appearance around pic 3 or 4. This is the norm. This is dating.
Throughout human existence mankind has always been fascinated by how we are perceived by others and how we can shape that image to our liking; portraiture showcases this perfectly. For most of art history, portraits combined two subjectivities: the sitter (model) being photographed and the artist (photographer) framing the shot, choosing the composition and directing his or her subject. The manufacturing of this "moment" aided in the portrayal desired, chosen persona and social position. All of this is thrown out the window with the invention of the cellphone camera. Perceived and perceiver join to shape the selfie picture.
Needless to say, I am enthralled by the instant welcoming of one's most private moments. Often framed awkwardly, these shared selfies, these moments, can be taken at leisure by the "artist". Sprawled out on a bed, in a public restroom, in a car, out on vacation, with a friend cut out of the frame...etc. Convenience and the lust for attention come together. These selfie-portraits litter our social media pages and overflow our cellphones. cherished as glimpses into our "real lives" and evidence of our enviable lifestyles but ultimately forever changing the relationship between artist and model.
Under the pseudonym, Ian Stone, I choose to work with other people's selfies, Re-engaging a critical point of view through this photographic paradigm.