Artist – Spoon Popkin
When I chose to return to “guyswithiPhones” for this show, no hint of the coming pandemic was in view. A subject I’ve turned to over the last decade suddenly took on a new meeting. No longer a study on the male gaze, it became a study on survival. How do we express longing and desire in a world where physical proximity can kill us? Perhaps this community learned from HIV/AIDS that virtual reality was the safest reality. As a single friend texted me “all dicks are virtual now“. This is sexuality at a social distance.
The focus of the “Guys with iPhones” continues with “the gaze”. These images were taken by the subject, as documenter, alone, mostly in bathrooms (possibly the most personal space in existence) to be shared with a very specific audience. There is a fractured relationship to “the gaze” here. As he looks at himself in the mirror, he is both subject AND photographer. His image is reflected back from the mirror into the iPhone’s camera lens with his desires laid bare. The image is then transmitted via satellite to the website, where it is then swiped up by the final viewer on their own iPhone to be interpreted anew. The internet makes limiting the intended audience impossible, giving me free rein to view to these men’s most personal desires.