Tinder has undeniably become a central component of many millennials lives and whether users are in search of a casual hook up or ‘the one’, what generally ensues is a period of ruthless swiping until your finger goes numb and you stumble upon someone who seems half decent (often only realising how drastically wrong you were twenty minutes into the first date by which point you’re stuck with them for at least the next cringe inducing hour). Evidently, Tinder is a platform ripe for artistic exploration on the themes of identity, privacy and social media performance, and Berlin based artist Ji-Yeon Kim has done just that with her recent exhibition Tinder Project.
Kim is working on painting 100 portraits of strangers she’s seen on Tinder, copying their profile pictures so accurately that the subjects can often recognise themselves and as if that wasn’t invasive enough, she even includes their real name and age, as provided by Tinder – somewhat creepy, right? Kim feels that many Tinder users are using the app out of loneliness saying “I think all of the photos on Tinder looked quite active or happy but inside I think they had a different feeling.” Whether that’s true or not, this perspective has led to a series of mournful, somewhat depressing portraits that call into question our generation’s apparent issue with intimacy and the flippant disregard we have for our privacy. Let’s be real though, would seeing a real life painting of your Tinder profile make you reconsider using the app or just mean you spend exponentially more time curating your selection of photos? A uniquely 2017 question if there ever was one.
- Words: Cait Emma Burke